Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

"You have to take each moment seriously because you never know what tomorrow may give."

- Michael Jordan

“I worry too much about what others are going to think and the consequences if I mess up!” This type of thought process is an example of extrinsic motivation, or motivated by external factors. It’s about the glory and recognition from others.


The second type of motivation is intrinsic motivation. Where motivation comes from within. It's the desire to compete, be challenged, and have a personal sense of accomplishment.


Intrinsic Motivation is what gets you to practice, to work hard everyday, and it keeps you grounded.


Extrinsic Motivation should only serve as the quick reminder that you are working hard and living your dream.


Tips to staying motivated:

a. Define your passion and love for the game. What makes you want to play hard and work hard each day? It’s that passion that fuels your fire and gets you through the challenging and low motivation days.


b. Change it up, the same trainings and drills can become monotonous. Do little things like training somewhere different; add some new drills to practices, this can include different competitive drills; and/or do some cross-training, like playing another sport for a day. For example, playing ultimate frisbee is a nice break from basketball practice.


c. Make it fun by doing things like adding different trick shots or different skills and expectations to a drill; or play a random pickup game or small sided game. For example, playing a 3v3 game with small goals or garbage cans are a fun alternative to a full scrimmage in lacrosse.


d. Avoid comparing, especially if you’ve had a bad day. For example, don’t compare your performance to a teammates good performance. Focus on you and the process of highlighting personal successes and identifying areas to improve.


e. Small wins and small gains. Celebrate the small victories like beating a teammate in a practice drill, out hustling an opponent to gain possession of the ball ⚽️, and of course winning in competition.


All of these moments take focus, effort, and hard work. The small moments add up and get you to perform your best in the big moments and when it matters most.


In the end, play each day like it’s your last, and create those epic moments!

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