Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?

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    I think Michael Jordan’s motivation started intrinsic and while he walked further on the way to a professional player he got more attention and so extrinsic motivation added on.
    All of the sudden he felt succsess and that gave him even more motivation, power and strenght. I also belive after he felt the Athletic World is admiring him that gave him the motivation to go thru hard times in his career…..he wanted to be on top again.

    P.s. By the way ….. I really like the training programm!!!!! 🙂


    Like many responded, I also think most of the Michael Jordan of motivation comes internally from him, that is, predominantly intrinsic. Most likely more early in his career, he must have had extrinsic motivations as well. The greatest value of him was to be very competitive not with others competitors but with himself. He sought to overcome his limits. If he had six titles he wanted the seventh. This was built from his first title. He was very self-sufficient, so he thought he could win the NBA title alone. When he saw that it would be impossible in a team sport, he was not afraid to make a mistake or change their perceptions to pursue his main target. When he reached as much as basketball could give he attempted to switch of sport to baseball as a challenge himself, showing that his love for basketball was a limit as well. Prior to this he had love for success, and he loved to be at risk of failure. I do not see Michael Jordan in any relation to the fear of failure. Another intrinsic aspect that appears it is their determination to achieve their goals, improving their focus up to the simple presence of opponents would be more of an incentive than an obstacle. I believe that the internal values of Michael Jordan that were part of his intrinsic motivation were consolidated by his coaches still in high school and this must be taken into account as well. On the question of some colleagues as Leopoldoferrer about psychological technic to help an athlete with the aim of turn from extrinsic motivational style to intrinsic motivation and what do if I want to help an athlete to Develop her intrinsic motivation, I fully agree with what our teacher Dr. Peter Terry said. I would add that although I feel that the intrinsic motivation should be worked out in the long run, that is, in the learning phase, and the techniques can vary depending on the behavior you want to change in the elite athlete. For example, and like Michael Jordan, if we have an athlete who has a disciplined and determined behavior , to establish smaller and not so distant Athlete reach goals, you can become a habit and this increase their intrinsic motivation. Important to emphasize the need for measurement of this reach.


    Wagner Rohlfs


    I think Michael Jordans motivation was intrinsic, he simply loved the game. His personality profile is most likely a 3, he liked to compete, but was´nt scared of failure

    Ong Chuan Leong

    My observations and thoughts:

    At the beginning of his basketball career, he played basketball mostly out of his love for the game and the things he could learn from the sport, both good and bad. As he had said in the video, “he never expected to be so successful”. He started with mostly intrinsic motivation.

    However, as years go by, he gradually became a better and better player, and more prominent. Winning matches and trophies and acquiring fame first became a possibility, then a reality. From this point forward, the percentage of extrinsic motivation increased, while being supported by his continued love for the game.

    Looking back at his career, I would say that his motivation was borne intrinsically, with the extrinsic aspect growing stronger over time. His likely motivational combination would be high in Need for Achievement (NA) and low in Fear of Failure (FF), as observed from his highly consistent performances and achievements throughout his professional basketball career.


    I think Michael Jordan has intrinsic motivation. He played through so much adversity and playing ball for that long you have to be doing it for the passion, you can’t be that good for that long because of extrinsic motivation. I think it plays a role in athlete motivation but it is so hard to be a athlete you have to love what you do. I think he is type three, he knows what he wants and how to do it but knows the costs. Jordan’s values are his game and goals.

    Jason von Stietz

    It looks like Michael Jordan’s motivation was intrinsic. From listening to him talk, it sounds like he valued learning from mistakes and mastering his craft. He is probably very high in need for achievement and low in fear of failure.


    Michael Jordon’s primary source appears to be intrinsic – he said he played basketball because “he loves to play the game” and he didn’t chase success, instead it came as a consequence of his love of playing. I suspect over time that his fame became a secondary extrinsic motivator.

    I think his personal values included:
    To use his competitive drive to motivate and guide him in life. He seems humble and optimistic with his approach to sport and life. He talked about how he takes all experiences (good or bad) and makes them positive “a good enough man to accept the good, but a better man to accept the bad”.
    To learn from his experiences and control how it influences his perception and actions. I think he demonstrates this by not letting the experience of being cut from his high school team define him. He was driven to move forward and not be held back by others opinion.

    I think Michael Jordon is Type 3, being high on the need for achievement and low on fear of failure.

    Neil Martin

    Some excellent responses so far. Keep them coming!

    Ana Delchevska

    There is something about MJ that motivational theory and categorization cannot reach.
    When it comes to champion-minded athletes the distinction of intrinsic and extrinsic collapses.
    In fact this distinction is just an illusion if we take a better look at it (but I won’t go down that road :).
    The moment MJ steps on the court, there is no motivation, no desires, nothing to be drawn to. It is just him, at that moment, doing the best he can.
    Motivation can be discussed with athletes outside the court/game/race/etc. However if athletes cannot get rid of their motives, they cannot reach self-actualization which should be the uppermost value on their pyramid. That was MJ’s drive. And it was simple, because he was feeling it and was able to demonstrate it with ease. In fact this is his talent, not basketball skills. 🙂
    To cut short I believe the most accurate description of his greatness can be found in the psychological term ‘flow‘.

    Leonard K

    Jordan’s motivation is intrinsic as his passion is to play basketball. He loves competition and works hard in an athletes’ mindset to be competitive. He’s a type 3 person who has a personal belief “Never give up” though fear is there of not performing his level best.


    Definitely Intrensic with the need for achievement through hard work and competition.

    Lisa Rubin

    I think Jordan’s source of motivation was mostly intrinsic. He mentioned he just loved the game and thrived on competition, and that he never expected success. His personal values were to be the best he could, play for the love of basketball itself, and work hard. His likely motivation for competition personality type is Type 3: high Need for Achievement and low Fear of Failure.


    M.Jordan Still the King.

    Passion drives action. Jordan’s passion drives his tireless work ethics and made him to what he was then. The need to feel that he was the best, indicated that he was intrinsically motivated. He proved to himself that getting cut from his high school team does not mean that he is a failure and instead used that as the motivation to drive his need for achievements. No fear of failure but instead hunger for success. He believes in a positive mindset and dealing with bad situations head on. He also believes that the outcome will take care of itself if you put your heart and hard work into it. Also the importance of accepting failure as part of the journey to success. He has the Type 3 personality traits of striving hard for a favorable outcome but yet gracious in the face of failure.


    My thought is that Jordan motivation is a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation but he is largely influenced by intrinsic as he has stated in the video, “I Played the sport because I loved it.” He was not in the game for success.

    His personal values are what encases his motivation due to his love for the sport. The thrill of competition is the drive to win at all costs and the willingness to work hard. The persistence to keep going through the hard times and importantly the ability to enjoy the successes when they happen.

    Jordan was a different kind player, he did what he had to do because of his desire of being better and he took the game of basketball to another new stage. His personal values includes, to be successful, hard work, leadership, and never give up at all times.

    Jordan stated that “you can’t avoid bad things to succeed” which is one of the reason, I think Jordan as a Type 3 person. It kind of reflects his own personality as he does not let failure adversely affect him.


    MJ’s is intrinsic motivation.

    He loves basketball, seeks to compete and he loves it. He is super need for achievement

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