Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Sports Motivation among Sports Players: A Gender Comparison Perspective

Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Sports Motivation among Sports Players: A Gender Comparison Perspective

Article excerpt

1.1 INTRODUCTION & REVIEW OF LITERATURE

The world of games and sports is ever expanding with intensity of competitions, and enlarging scientific studies of human movement. A sport is dynamic in nature and progressive in out load. Sports and games are means of mental and physical growth, and contribute in the formation of character. Owing to this increasing relevance of sports in individual lives, APA instituted the Sports psychology branch to understand the dynamics at play with further depth. Sports psychology is (a) the study of the psychological and mental factors that influence and are influenced by participation and performance in sports, exercise, and physical activity, and (b) the application of knowledge gained through this studies to everyday settings. Sports psychologists are involved in assisting coaches in working with athletes as well as helping improve athletes' motivation. It involves preparing the mind of an athlete, just as thoroughly as prepares the body. Sports psychology is an emerging field in the worlds of psychology and athletics; and tries to understand sports related behavior from the perspectives of various psychology theories. One such theory is; Self-determination theory and it examines the effects of the social context on motivation and individual behaviors (Deci & Ryan, 1985,1991; Ryan & Deci, 2000). Grounded in this framework, numerous studies in the last 20 years have investigated individuals' motivation in a variety of settings and activities especially in the context of sports and related constructs. According to Vallerand and Fortier (1998), self-determination theory is especially helpful in studying individual patterns of sport participation. People may engage in activities for different reasons. Athletes are intrinsically motivated when they engage in an activity for the pleasure and satisfaction derived from the activity itself, whereas extrinsic motivation describes behaviors performed to attain material or social rewards. The understanding of human behavior also involves considering amotivation (Deci& Ryan, 1985). When people are amotivated, they do not perceive a relationship between their actions and the resulting outcomes. Consequently, they no longer identify any good reasons for practicing their sport (Pelletier, Fortier, Vallerand, Tuson, Brière, & Blais, 1995).

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

According to self-determination theory, intrinsically motivated behavior is associated with satisfaction of three psychological needs (Deci & Ryan, 1991; Ryan & Deci, 2000). The need for autonomy reflects the need to perceive behavior as freely chosen (deCharms, 1968). The need for competence refers to the urge to effectively interact with the social environment (White, 1959). The need for relatedness pertains to the desire to feel connected with other individuals (Richer & Vallerand, 1998). Vallerand and his colleagues (Vallerand, Blais, Brière, & Pelletier, 1989; Vallerand, Pelletier, Blais, Brière, Senécal, & Vallières, 1992) suggested that three dimensions of intrinsic motivation exist: intrinsic motivation to know, intrinsic motivation to accomplish things, and intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation. Firstly, intrinsic motivation to know involves engaging in sport for pleasure and satisfaction experienced while one is learning and exploring something new. Secondly, intrinsic motivation to accomplish things operates when one is engaged in an activity for the pleasure derived from trying to surpass oneself or to improve skills. Thirdly, intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation refers to engaging in sport in order to experience the pleasant sensations derived from the activity itself. In the sport domain, many studies have corroborated this tripartite conceptualization of intrinsic motivation (Brière, Vallerand, Blais, & Pelletier, 1995; Pelletier et al., 1995).

Extrinsic motivation is also considered to be a multidimensional construct. …

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