Motivation & Goals

By Louis Ross, Sport and Exercise Psychologist in Training (SEPiT)

14 Oct 2022 / By Elly Shearman

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Over the last year, Louis has been working with a number of our competitive Juniors and helping them with their sports psychology.

Louis has kindly shared with us a great video to give you overview of the types of motivation and hopefully help create a link between the goals we set and what might be motivating us.

To briefly sum up motivation, we generally group it into being intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. To be clear, both can be useful.

As the slides and video above show, we can break that down more into ‘controlled’ vs ‘autonomous’ motivation and without going too deep into it, autonomous motivation will provide us with better outcomes in the long term.

To highlight some ways ‘controlled’ motivation might work is rewards or punishments are present, for example – someone may offer us money if we win, or we might know that if we put in a good performance, it may mean we don’t get shouted at. These ways of working are only effective for so long; it can be unhealthy to only utilise those things as motivators. Instead, if we can focus on goals that have personal meaning to us and these will help us to learn new skills and grow as athletes and people, it will contribute to longer term and healthier development.

The podium approach to goal setting is a great way of imagining what we are capable of if we really stick to what we want to do and use our strengths, skills, and access support well. These are all preferred futures, but I like it because they are things we can see ourselves achieving based on our current levels and circumstances. Setting a minimum level (bronze) is good because it keeps us focused on doing the basics which will contribute to success at all 3 levels!

Don’t forget to include steps to how you will achieve your goals, and make sure you have a nice mix of outcomes and the processes behind them (i.e. “how” will I achieve it?).

The Performance Room has created another video on the podium approach, please click here.

Need more information?

Contact Elly Shearman Tennis Coaching on
Tel: 07581 237260

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Elly Shearman

Elly Shearman is an adult and children's tennis coach based in Bristol. Passionate about grassroots tennis and enabling everyone to have access to playing the sport whatever their age or ability.

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