Reply To: Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?

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Peter Terry

There have been some great comments about Michael Jordan and his motivation style. Some of you have raised the question of how to develop intrinsic motivation in a person. It’s a very good question. Some would say that motivational style is a part of personality and therefore somewhat resistant to change. I subscribe to an interactionist perspective, which acknowledges that different individuals have a natural predisposition towards intrinsic v extrinsic motivation but also accepts that everyone is subject to change depending upon environmental factors. To promote change in the direction of intrinsic motivation involves drip-feeding messages of using self-referenced success criteria. Are my skills improving? Am I becoming tactically more astute? Am I developing my understanding of the processes involved in optimum performance? Am I enjoying the competition? Am I having fun? Am I learning to love the inevitable adversity that I will face? Do I love the challenge inherent in my sport? And of course providing positive reinforcement when behaviour reflects intrinsic motivation. Others may wish to offer additional strategies to assist in the development of intrinsic motivation.