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What is Motivation?

Motivation can be defined simply as the direction and intensity of one's effort.


Views of Motivation

1. Participant or Trait-Centered View
2. Situation-Centered View
3. Interactional View


Trait-Centered View

(also called the Participant-Centered View)

Contends that motivated behavior is primarily a function of individual characteristics. That is, the personality, needs, and goals of a student, athlete, or exerciser are the primary determinants of motivated behavior.


Situation-Centered View

In direct contrast to the trait-centered view, the situation-centered view contends that motivation level is determined primarily by situation.

ex.) Brittany might be really motivated in her aerobic exercise class but unmotivated in a competitive sport situation.


Interactional View

This view or "interactionalist" contend that motivation results neither solely from participant factors, such as personality, needs, interest, and goals, nor soley from situational factors, such as a coach's or teacher's style of the win-loss record of a team. Rather the best way to understand motivation is to examine how these two sets of factors interact.


Guidelines for Building Motivation*

1. Both situations and traits motivate people.

2. People have multiple motives for involvement. Understand why people participate in physical activity.

3. Change the environment to enhance motivation (provide both competitive and recreational opportunities, provide for multiple motives and opportunities, adjust to individuals within groups.

4. Leaders influence motivation directly and indirectly

5. Use behavior modification to change undesirable participant motives.



Competitiveness is a social evaluation of comparison. A disposition to strive for satisfaction when making comparisons with some standard of excellence in the presence of evaluative others.