What is the most effective and sustaining form of motivation?
Many sources of motivation provide a temporary boost. External sources of motivation such as money, trophies, media attention, and accolades can incentivize your efforts, but what happens when those sources dry up?
When motivated mainly by external sources, will you put in the same effort when you no longer receive trophies or gain positive media recognition?
However, external motivation is fleeting and adversely affects your work output through the highs and lows of a season.
The drawback is that when you are primarily motivated by external sources, you will put forth less effort when the season isn’t going your way. Rather than doing the little things that add up to impact your game significantly, you will settle with your current level of play.
Instead of focusing on honing your mechanics, you will go through the motions. You will fall short of peak performance and your potential when you give less effort and reduced focus.
When you have little self-motivation, you will be apathetic when your team is no longer in the playoff hunt. This sets a precedent of accepting the status quo when you hit a rough patch during the season.
Conversely, internal or intrinsic motivation helps sustain your efforts and focus throughout the year. Intrinsic motivation is when you are internally activated to become the best player you can become.
When you are intrinsically motivated, you are excited by challenges. You feel you have a purpose and are driven to achieve your potential and make the most of every situation throughout the season.
The New York Mets started 2023 as World Series contenders, but with eight games remaining in the season, The Mets were in fourth place, 28 games out of first place, and out of playoff contention.
The Mets have significantly under performed to the point where some people questioned their effort and focus.
Former New York Met outfielder Tommy Pham criticized some of his ex-teammates for their lack of motivation, saying, “Out of all the teams I played on, this is the least-hardest working group of position players I’ve ever played with.”
New York Met outfielder Brandon Nimmo offered his commentary on motivation.
NIMMO: “Each person needs to assess that individually. You can only lead a horse to water; you can’t make him drink. Ultimately, a lot of this comes down to individuals and what they’re willing to do.”
If you are not pleased with your athletic production, it is likely not a talent issue but a motivational problem.
If you want to sustain long-term motivation and perform consistently at a high level, try exploring how to fuel your efforts through internal sources.
Internal motivation starts with one question, “Why am I competing in my sport?”
Write down 2-3 reasons you play baseball or why you started to play in the first place. Knowing your ‘why’ is the first step in becoming a self-motivated athlete.
Related Sports Psychology Articles
- Developing The Hustle Mindset for Baseball
- When Emotion and Intelligence Work Hand in Hand
- Perform Confidently Late in the Game
Get the Mental Edge – With Mental Toughness Coaching
Mental toughness coaching helps serious athletes like you uncover the beliefs and attitudes that keep you from performing to your potential. You’ll learn mental game strategies to perform confidently in competition and how to overcome performance barriers.
You can improve your mental game with Mental Game Coaches, Dr. Patrick Cohn and Jaclyn Ellis, M.S. You can opt for one-on-one sessions with Dr. Cohn in Orlando, Florida, or you can stay where you are and get coaching from anywhere in the world via telephone, Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime.
One-on-one mental coaching is the fastest and most effective method to improve your mental game, boost your performance, and make lasting changes. We have a variety of mental coaching programs to choose from. Please call us at 888-742-7225 with your questions.