Psychological Factors
What motivates you to play sport?
What motivates top athletes to take
part in their sport?
There are two types of motivation…
1. Intrinsic
2. Extrinsic
Extrinsic motivation
Comes from sources outside of the activity
e.g. money, trophies/prizes, praise
Intrinsic Motivation
Comes from within
e.g. satisfaction, enjoyment, sense of
The driving force which makes the
performer complete a task
The desire to perform well
Different people are motivated by different
reasons, though there are some common
features. The motivation of an Olympic
athlete will be different to a 60 year old
recreational swimmer
Motivation can be subdivided into
two types
1. Intrinsic – the drive to do well
comes from within the performer
e.g. enjoyment of the activity,
satisfaction and pride of winning or
taking part (self motivation)
2. Extrinsic – the drive to do well
comes from the outside
environment e.g. praise from a
coach, trophies, money
Extrinsic motivation can be
subdivided into two further
1. Tangible rewards (physical) –
trophies, money, medals,
2. Non-tangible – positive comments
from parents, media, coaches,
media recognition, winning / glory
and social status
Extrinsic motivation can have both a
beneficial or detrimental to
performance, rewards can be
meaningless if overused as the
performer may no longer see the
worth of performance
There is a link between intrinsic and
extrinsic motivation
When planning to increase intrinsic
motivation through the use of extrinsic
Make sure that both rewards are
dependent upon performance
Give praise both verbally and non verbally
Provide a variety of rewards during
training and competition
Provide opportunities for the performer to
make decisions on performance
Encourage the negotiation of goals, to
match up to performers skill level
List all the reasons why you started
to participate in a particular sport
List the reasons why you have
continued within the sport
Have any of the reasons changed?
What is arousal?
The degree of preparedness, alertness and
excitement present in a performer who is
about to participate in a skilful activity
A combination of physiological factors and
psychological factors
When participating a performer may
experience a mixture of feelings from
excitement to anxiety, this places stress
on the body changing arousal level
Physiological Effects
Increased heart rate
Increased body temperature
Increased sweating
Psychological Effects
Increased anxiety over the quality of
the performance
Increased anxiety about the
perceptions others may have of the
Controlling Anxiety
Thinking positively – telling ourselves
that we are good enough
Using mental rehearsal – picturing
ourselves carrying out successful
movements and practicing in the
Relaxation – using controlled
breathing and gentle movements
Verbal reassurance from the coach
Arousal and Anxiety
Inverted U theory
Drive Theory
Catastrophe theory
Include a diagram to explain
Theories Related to Arousal
Drive Theory
Defines the relationship between
arousal and performance, as arousal
increases so to does performance.
Arousal always has a positive
attempt on performance
Inverted U Theory
It states that the level of arousal will
increase performance to a point,
then any further increase in arousal
will have a detrimental effect
hindering performance.
Theories Related to Arousal
Catastrophe Theory
This theory goes further than the
inverted U theory by looking at
reducing arousal levels in order to
maintain the quality of the
Consider the last time you
participated in a game or activity
with great meaning e.g. cup final
How did you feel?
Did you suffer any psychological or
physiological effects described?
How did it affect your performance?
What is personality?
The character and temperament of a
The traits that make up different
personalities are relatively stable for
each individual but could change in a
change environment e.g. sport
Describe your own personality
Personality can be subdivided into two
1. Introverts (type A) – more inward in
behaviour, require low levels of arousal
to achieve optimal performance, tend to
favour individual sports and those that
require precision & have a low pain
2. Extroverts (type B) – require high levels
of arousal to achieve optimal
performance, thrive in highly competitive
situations, where there is a great
amount of noise and audience input,
favour team sports and have high pain
Look at the list below:
Jonny Wilkinson
Kelly Holmes
Andrew Flintoff
Consider the sports they are in and the
media attention that they experience
1. What personality type do you think they
2. Explain your choice giving examples of
behaviour to justify your reasons
Any performer is constantly being
bombarded with different information, a
performers ability to cope with this
depends on their experience, either in
performance or through training under
similar conditions
When a performer processes
information they have to: make sense
of it and decide the best action to take
To achieve the above the incoming
information has to be filtered so that
irrelevant information is discarded
If the filtering process is not effectively
completed, decision making is hindered
The brain can only deal with one piece
of information at a time (limited
channel capacity) any overload can
hinder performance
Beginners must focus upon all aspects
of performing the skill whilst
experienced performers perform the
skill ‘automatically’ and therefore can
focus on the position of opponents etc.
Self Efficacy
Bandura looked at success and
failure in performance in relation to
the self confidence of the performer
He found that a perception a sports
performer has of their ability is not
constant but changes in different

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