Mon, 29 Aug 2011 10:44:16
Motivation. This is probably the most used word in sport and also the most misunderstood. Approximately one-third of the psychological literature is either directly or indirectly related to motivation. A simple yet direct definition of the term that I borrowed from a colleague is "the inner drive that compels us to act." Without motivation it is not possible to function with proficiency or longevity.
Have you ever wondered why some of the greatest golfers of all time, with a few exceptions, had long and successful careers? With all the early comparisons between Jack and Tiger, I wonder if anyone has imagined the magnitude of the longevity of Nicklaus' career. I believe that these types of athletes have magnificent obsessions with their careers. They truly love the game.
It is well known in psychology that we can be motivated by both extrinsic and intrinsic means. That is, the winning of a golf tournament is very motivating for many people. The prestige, money and adulation are very satisfying for many players. However, it is also clear that the long-standing devotion and love for the game will hold up even in the direst circumstances.
Ask yourself the following questions? Why do I play this game? Am I trying to develop better skills? Am I trying to utilize an activity that I enjoy to explore my independence? Or am I trying to impress or please others? Am I doing this to increase my opportunities as a businessperson? If you can determine this answer, you are well on the way to developing a more long lasting motivation to continue this game we love.
Until next time. Enjoy your golf,
Dr. Richard Gordin