“If you are always saying I’ll do it to tomorrow, than your tomorrow will than turn into another day and so on, and so, etc. etc.” – Victoria Addino
I’m going to teach you about motivation – what it is, how it is specific to soccer and what we can do to stay motivated!
There are many different theories associated with motivation because it is a concept linked to behavior and our actions and desires. You need to be motivated to perform any task; anything from sprinting back to help defend to stretching correctly after practice. I am going to break down 2 basic theories below and give examples of how they are relevant to soccer.
Incentive theory divides motivation into 2 distinct categories:
Intrinsic: The self-desire to seek out new challenges, achieve personal goals and analyze one’s capacity. It is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task. Players who are intrinsically motivated are more likely to engage in tasks willingly and thus improve their skills. Examples of intrinsic motivation include: personal goals and self-achievement.
Extrinsic: Outside factors that influence your motivation. Players can be equally as driven as those who are intrinsically motivated, but they need persuasion in order to give their best effort towards a task. Examples of extrinsic motivation include: medals/trophies, records/accolades, money and perceived respect.
Drive Theory is based on the principle that every person is born with a set of psychological needs. When these needs are not met, a negative state of tension is created. When a need is satisfied, drive is reduced and the person returns to a more relaxed state. Drives are thought to originate from within a person and therefore most likely not require extrinsic motivation to encourage a behavior. Basic drives could be sparked by deficiencies such as hunger, which motivates a person to seek food whereas more subtle drives might be the desire for praise and approval, which motivates a person to behave in a manner pleasing to others. In soccer terms, a striker might seek self-validation. Scoring goals would satisfy the drive.
Motivation is a ‘dangerous’ thing. Being unmotivated to perform a task can be detrimental not only to yourself but those around you. Conversely, you can be so determined and motivated, focused on just one thing that you can lose sight of what is important along the way.
The best way to motivate yourself is to set goals, and not just any goals, SMART goals!
S – Specific
M – Measureable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Time Sensitive
By setting goals that meet these criteria you can make sure that you are not only progressing at the rate you desire but you will have all the intrinsic motivation you require. Check out the links below for a more in-depth look at motivation and as always, stay well and check back for more articles!