Core 2: Factors Affecting Performance
Part 1: Review the selected sport-related scene. Describe and ascertain which psychological factors are impacting on the athlete’s performance.
The major aspects of psychology that affect performance are motivation and anxiety. Athletes need to be able to prepare for major competitions, reduce tension and stress that may cause a decline in performance, and maintain high-level performances over a long period of time. The ability of the mind to generate thought patterns, influence emotions, stimulate or diminish arousal and create images of a desired action is now better understood and has changed the way that many athletes approach their events.
Motivation is the driving force of an athlete to reach an optimal level of performance for their individual inner gain of wants, needs and desires. Motivation consists of four main categories, positive, negative, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Positive motivation is an individual’s performance driven by previous reinforcing behaviours and this is evident in the film as the athlete feels support from the crowd and his team mates, however this may lead the player to anxiety and stress as he would be anxious of letting the audience down, which causes negative motivation. Negative motivation is characterised by an improved performance out of fear of the consequences of not performing to expectations. This is a performance out of fear, penalties or substandard performance. As the player feels support from the crowd and his team mates he feels negatively motivated as he fears of letting them down. This is shown in the film as the coach says to the athlete before the penalty shot. “It’s up to you, I don’t want to see any goats around here after the game”. This leads the player into being over aroused, having lack of creativity and high anxiety. This affects the athlete as his body would naturally respond with tightened muscles to prepare for the shot and this would negatively affect his performance.
Intrinsic motivation comes from within an athlete. This can be due to personal enjoyment and satisfaction. Intrinsic motivation is much more powerful than extrinsic motivation as personal reward and self- satisfaction is stronger than anything from outside, though this is not evident in the film. Extrinsic motivation refers to external driving forces such as recognition, trophies, satisfying expectations and financial benefits. Extrinsic motivation can be manipulated by others e.g. bribery. Therefore this will weaken their intrinsic motivation. An athlete who relies on their internal motivation tends to be motivated longer than from external factors. In this video the external driving forces such as recognition and satisfying expectations is manipulated by the coach and the crowd cheering.
Anxiety is a state of being uneasy, apprehensive, or worried about what may happen during a performance. It is important to distinguish between trait and state anxiety, identify sources of stress, and recognise the link between optimum arousal levels and performance. Trait anxiety is the tendency to perceive a situation as threatening or non-threatening. Those who have high levels of trait anxiety will perceive more situations as threatening than those who have low levels of trait anxiety. Though, this is not evident in the video clip. State anxiety is the emotional response or level of distress of the athlete to a particular situation and this is presented in the film as the coach says to him before the penalty shot “Now, you miss this shot, you’re not just letting me down, you’re letting the whole team down too”. The athlete is afraid of missing the penalty shot which therefore creates psychological responses such as worry, nervousness, tension, sweating and shaking which makes the athlete’s body respond with tightened muscles and that would negatively affect his performance.
Sources of stress are part of everyday life but if left uncontrolled,...
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