Workforce Blog - Understanding Motivations for Taking Part in Sport and Physical Activity

Workforce Blog - Understanding Motivations for Taking Part in Sport and Physical Activity

Posted: Tue, 30 Jun 2020 09:56

Workforce Blog - Understanding Motivations for Taking Part in Sport and Physical Activity

Before discussing people's motivations for taking part in sport and physical activity, we must first understand what motivations is. In its simplest form, motivation is the reason for someone's behaviour. This blog seeks to understand the difference between goals and motivations, something which is commonly confused when asking someone what motivates them.

Goal: a person's objective, ambition, aim or desired result

Motivation: the reason for acting or behaving in a particular way, a stimulus or inspiration

Can you think of an example of what a goal might be for someone coming to your session? Here are some of our teams' current goals:

  • "My goal is to lose 8 pounds of my lockdown weight!"
  • "My goal is to be competitive in the upcoming rugby season!"

Now think, what are your participants motivations for attending your session? Check out our team's motivations for participating in sport and physical activity:

  • "My motivation for participating in cricket sessions is to feel like I am part of a team."
  • "My motivation for playing rugby is that it makes me feel good."

It is important not to blur what motivates people with how to motivate them. How often have you attempted to motivate your participants with high energy and loud over exaggerated encouragement? This might work for some people but might be incredibly off putting for others. Therefore, it is crucial that you understand the reason people have decided to begin participating in your sessions. It is then your role to meet the participants needs and aspirations. These are our three top tips to follow:

1. Find out why people turn up to your session

2. Plan and deliver sessions to meet motivation

3. Recognise when motivations have been fulfilled

Reasons for taking part (motivations) will be different for everyone and will be based on their personal characteristics, such as: past experiences, personality and lifestyle. People may not only have a singular motivation. For example, I coach because it makes me feel good, I participate in cricket because I like to spend time with my friends, and I do circuit training to improve my fitness and health. What are your motivations for doing what you do? Here are some common motivations:

-Feel confident

-Fun and enjoyment

-Looking good and improving appearance

-Achieve goals and be successful

-Improve physical and mental health

-Feeling good and having positive self-image

-Relaxing and unwinding

- Learning new skills

-Spending time with friends and family

To explore four of these motivations in greater depth, download our 'Tips to Try' packs:

- Learning new skills

- Fun and enjoyment

- Meeting new people

- Looking good and improving appearance

Tags: Blog, Coaching, Understanding Motivation, Volunteering, Workforce