The effect of personality and motivation on sporting performancePersonalityPersonality can be defined as ‘the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character’. Theories TraitWhen psychologist first looked at athletes personalities ,their aim was to understand the effect personality traits of the athlete may have on their performance and outcomes. Eysneck and cattell were two of the first theorists that argued, personality traits were mainly inherited, that they are fairly stable and predictable aspects of our personalities. They claimed that there are two main aspects to personality. Theses are an introversion – extroversion dimension, and a stable – neurotic dimension. Generally speaking no person is completely an introvert or extrovert. Although every introvert and extrovert is different, most share certain traits and challenges.Introverts often tend to be individuals who don’t always excitement and attention, they would rather be in an environment that is calm. Introvert athletes like challenges that involve good concentration skills but they do not like issues that are unexpected. extroverts ca be be described as  chatty or talkative. They are normally enthusiastic but on the other hand they can be seen as negative people, because they can be come attention-seeking and they also don’t like being on there own and prefer being in groups. Extroverts are known to get bored when not performing well when competing or completing task set by them selves, because they require to much concentration and would rather have ones with excitement. Extroverts can deal with the pressure of competing and other factors that can distract or put off the athlete better than a introvert.SituationalThe Situational approach tends to be different to the trait theories, as it suggests that behaviour is often dependent on an individuals situation or environment. Theorists also argue that this can be far more important than traits. There may be some support for the Situational approach in sporting behaviour, as individual athletes may be categorised as introverts, however these individual athletes can display characteristics such as tolerance and shyness, but also participate in a sport that requires them to be more extroverted and display characteristics like aggression in a sporting situation.InteractionalIn order to predict an athletes behaviour to a situation in a sporting environment, the athlete need to think about how personality and interactional traits work together and there links. The interactional approach view is widely known by sport psychologists when explaining behaviors presented by elite athletes. The interactional theory indicates that an athlete is more likely to show behavioral traits rather than personality when Situational factors are big.Affects Performance Athletes v non-athletesResearch shows that there is no such thing as a universal athletic personality. However, there are some differences between athletes and non-athletes, as well as between athletes in different types of sport. Compared with non-athletes, athletes who take part in team sports as I have said previously tend to be more extroverted, when comparing to non-athletes, and athletes in individual sports tend to be more introverted. This suggests that in order to study the differences between athletes and non-athletes, a theorist needs to consider the sport the athlete plays before reaching a conclusion, if it is to be accurate. Type A and Type B Type A personalities are known to show a lack patience, have a strong desire for competition, and highly driven to achieve goals. They also try to complete activities or tasks really fast, they are good at multi-tasking when the pressure is on, but disliked others opinions or disagreed with them, and experienced high levels of anxiety.  Type B personalities were found show respect and be more open to criticism from others, they are more relaxed and reflect on what they have achieved from either training or competing than type A athletes. On the other hand they do experience much lower levels of anxiety and showed higher levels of imagination and creativity than type B personalities. Motivation Motivation can be defined as “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way”.….0…1.1.64.psy-ab..0.3.529…0i67k1.0.iQ-tyBAgquU Views Trait A trait centred view is an individual characteristic which generally relate to the needs and goals of the individual athlete. However the individual characteristics of the athlete have an affect on the individual determining their level of motivation, which in turn will determine success or failure of that athlete. SituationThe situation centred view believes that motivation is often determined by the situation or environment on the particular day of performance. Sports psychologist believe this is the most effective use to help guide and develop practice. This view also involves factors such as achievement goals, athletes perceived ability and achievement behaviour. A wide range of influences and situations can influence motivation, therefore some psychologist don’t recommend this situation centred view as best practise.  InteractionThe interaction view means individuals making meaning for themselves. Motivation has been found to not result from participant factors or from situational factors. Alix (1995) discovered three variations on interactionist theory. They were symbolic interactionism, exchange theory and dramaturgical theory. Types IntrinsicIntrinsic motivation could be when a person is being involved in physical activity but there is no external reward. Intrinsic motivation is when someone joins a club, team or center to participate in activities just for then enjoyment.  Extrinsic MotivationExtrinsic motivation is when an athlete behaves a certain way due to an external mechanism. Tangible and intangible rewards are the two forms of extrinsic motivation forms. Thing that are given to the athlete are considered to be tangible, and examples of this could be money and trophies. Things that can’t be physically given to the athlete is considered to be intangible and examples of this could be respect, praise or encouragement. The coach of the athlete knows exactly how to maximise the athletes extrinsic rewards.  Theories  Achievement Motivation Athletes can be grouped into two categories. Those who need to achieve (Nach) and those who need to avoid failure (Naf). Nach athletes live for success and they keep trying when something goes wrong. They also feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments. There is less focus on comparing skill and performance against other athletes. They tend to place greater emphasis on setting realistic and challenging personal goals. Athletes who are very good at their sport and achieve success, typically set themselves challenging goals, they would rather compete against high ranking opponents and perform well when being evaluated. Naf athletes try and avoid theses scenarios, an example would be an athlete with low achievement motivation would prefer to play against a poor opponent so they can achieve success.  Everyone has aspects of both Nach and Naf, but the balance of the two motives determines a persons achievement motivation. Attribution Theory The attribution theory in sport looks at how people explain their success and failure. Attributions provide explanations for successes or failures and fall into one of these categories: l Stability- is the reason permanent or unstable winning example: ‘I out played my opponent.’  Losing example: ‘I was poor against my opponent’ l Causality- is the reason something that comes from an external or internal factor. Winning example: ‘I really did try my best’. Losing example: ‘I didn’t try hard enough’ l Control- is the reason under your control. Winning example: ‘I trained really hard for this match’. Losing example: ‘I could have trained harder for this match’ Being aware of these can help athletes to understand key factors such as the motivation behind certain behaviour and the expectations of future success and failure. For example, a  golfer attributing their points victory to stable,internal and controllable factors is more likely to feel confident and motivated to continue with playing golf because they believe in themselves and that they will win again. Affect on performance Positive motivation Athletes that are motivated to participate in games, perform and train with high intensity and 100% effort will see a massive increase in performance when competing. It is up to the background staff to make sue the athlete is training at a high intensity and effort with no negative side effects.   Negative motivationNegative motivation is a result of improving performance because of the fear of consequences such as a bad performance. An example could be a rugby player working hard on the pitch to avoid being pulled up by the coach at the end of the game for not pulling their weight and being lazy. However negative motivation can have a negative effect on the athletes self-esteem and self-confidence. There are still many coaches who try to motivate athletes by using intimidation, fear,and threats. This may appear to work short-term, but long- term this motivation isn’t good. Motivational Climate Motivational climate is the psychological environment that the coach creates. This is done by planning sessions to include feedback and good instruction, this will help the athlete in both training and competition. This has proved to have a positive impact on the athlete in the form of participation, enjoyment and general interest. Motivational climate can be split into two different forms. Task or mastery involved, and ego-involved or performance environment. Theory suggests that athletes who support task goals tend to be more resilient and confident than those who are ego-involved, because they don’t need to always be better than others to feel good about themselves. Also the coach will give praise, treat them all fairly and recognise and reward task mastery and individual performance. Evaluation When comparing and evaluating the effects of personality and motivation on sports performance, it is clear to see how vital motivation is to an athlete, because it influences how an athlete thinks, feels, and interacts with their team mates. Basically without motivation an athlete won’t reach their full potential. However there is no direct link between personality type and success in sporting performance. Personality can suggest why an athlete is interested and drawn towards a particular sport. I have also failed to find evidence that personality type will make you a better athlete.  An athletes personality can change as their perception of their environment changes, for example an athlete may be the captain of his rugby team where he would show leadership skills, and shortly after be working in a job where they would have to follow instruction and be told what to do. There is no athletic personality to predict successful performances, but in some small studies psychologists thought that successful athletes displayed lower levels of fatigue, depression,confusion and anger, and increased levels of energy and enthusiasm. It has been calculated that personality accounts for less than 1% of performance variation. Therefore in my opinion from what I have read and researched,motivation appears to have the biggest influence on over all sport performance.      


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