The Effect of Personality and Motivation on Sports Performance

Topics: Personality psychology, Personality type, Motivation Pages: 9 (2794 words) Published: June 3, 2013
For this assignment I will explain the effect of personality and motivation on sports performance.


Personality is the sum of a person’s individual characteristics that make him/her unique. (Adams et al, 2010) A person’s personality determines how they react in certain situations, their general mood and the consistency of it and their emotions. Personality can affect many aspects of sport right from the selection process because as well as raw talent, coaches need performers to have good mentality to be able to reach their required potential.

Personality theories

There are four main personality theories, these are the different ideas behind where individuals get there personalities from. I will explain three of these four personality theories. These are Trait theory, the Social learning theory and the Situational theory. The final theory which I won’t be discussing is the interactionist theory.

Trait theory

This is the theory that People are born with their characteristics and they are past down in their genes from their parents. This theory is also known as the nature approach. Trait is a word used to describe personality characteristics and it is generally defined as a continuous quality that individuals possess such as sociability, leadership and determination. Trait theory suggests traits can be seen as enduring and consistent behaviours across a range of situations. Trait theory takes several traits and using these works out what causes people to behave in certain ways in certain situations. For example an anxious, irritable, impatient, nervous person would be more likely to crumble under pressure. This could cause a footballer who is more than capable of scoring a penalty kick to miss an important penalty in a big game under pressure.

Someone who I feel could have been born with important traits in their sport is Usain Bolt, he is an outgoing sociable person with bags of confidence. This aids him in his sport and many other athletes feel intimidated by this. Someone else I feel I feel got an important trait from genetics is John Terry. I feel John Terry is a born leader. Some of the characteristics that make is his confidence, dominance and sociable skills. These characteristics are something I believe John Terry possessed from a very young age which also backs up trait theory.

I agree with Trait theory to a certain extent as certain characteristics are passed down in Genes such as confidence and leadership, hence the expression “born leader” although I feel some characteristics including those passed down in genes can be influenced by a person’s environment and upbringing.

Social Learning theory

Social learning theory suggests that personality is influenced by the behaviour of others. This particular theory suggests there are 2 different ways we learn and develop our personality from other people. One of these is Modelling. This is when we observe and copy significant others as parents, friend, pro athletes and other people who may influence our lives. These are classed as our role models. Someone I feel has a positive effect on people as a role model is Paul Scholes with his raw determination, passion and professionalism. This is someone children are recommended to base their own performance on. An example of someone positively influenced themselves by this is Wayne Rooney. His environment ensured he was playing football on the streets from a young age while his family were all interesting in football which caused certain rivalries and competition to be better than other siblings and family members. A negative role model could be Luis Suarez as this may influence children to not shake hands with a player due to an on or off the field incident or even due to racial hatred. Social reinforcement is when either behaviour is rewarded positively which persuades them to repeat the behaviour or if behaviour causes the athlete to get negative feedback or a punishment such as...

References: (COX, 1998) (SAGE, 1977) BOTH INDIRECT QUOTES FROM
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