There are a multitude of ways to approach goal-setting and improving motivation, training ethic, performance, and skills in a sporting context. This may cause confusion when it comes to deciding which methods are best to use and apply in real life, and what will work best for your athletes in your context and help you get the best out of their performance.
Part one of this article aims to unpack the different types of motivation sources, and explore extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation in terms of goal-setting for sport and performance.
Goals are a vital part of everyday life, and can be used as tools to improve a variety of aspects in pursuit of something new or something objective. Researchers continuously try to understand how goal-setting can impact cognitive and behavioural outcomes, and how different motivational factors affect performance, motivation and mindset. There are also new academic theories being created in order to understand and apply the knowledge of many. Locke and Latham (2002) suggest that goals are able to enhance performance, with the example of sport, through four mechanisms:
Setting goals helps to direct your attention and effort towards activities which are relevant and beneficial to your current goals (and away from irrelevant ones),
Goals can help to energize you within a task, and there will be a need to expend higher effort to achieve more challenging goals,
Goals can positively or negatively impact persistence in tasks relevant to pursuing goals,
Action can be impacted through the adoption of task-relevant strategies and goal-specific knowledge.