Monday, June 28, 2010

Motivation in Athletes

In the early readings of our textbook, I am seeing a lot of differences in the practicality of the concepts discussed in this book in comparison to one's that I have read in other psychology texts. Much of the psychology that I have been taught, I felt relied on theories that were matters of debate and not concrete facts. The concepts taught in the motivation textbook are relevant because they can be seen in everyday life. I think that one of the areas that being motivated is extremely important is in professional sports. A great way to see just how important motivation is in sports is to compare two athletes such as Brett Favre and JaMarcus Russell.
JaMarcus Russell was the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft and was awarded $31.5 million dollars guaranteed. This meant that all he had to do was show up until he was cut and he woul still get paid. He did just that. Russell didn't learn the playbook and proved to be lazy an uninterested in football. Obviously his only incentive for playing was the money. Russell had all the physical tools to be a great NFL quarterback but lacked the motivation to become great. He is an example of someone who "can but won't".
Brett Favre is the opposite of what Russell is. He is someone who "can and will". Favre was no where near as highly touted as Russell when he was drafted in 1991 but Favre had an intangible that Russell will never have. He has the motivation to be a great player. Throughout Favre's career he has had many accomplishments including 11 Pro Bowls, 2 Super Bowl appearances, and 3 league MVP awards. In the 19 years he has been in the NFL he has never missed a game due to injury. Football is the most brutal game on earth. To never miss a game in 19 years is nothing short of amazing. I think that sports franchises should put much more emphasis on what exactly a player's incentives are before they acquire him. As seen with Russell and Favre, a player's incentives can be the difference between being a Hall of Famer or a complete bust.

1 comment:

  1. Favre also started practicing almost immediately after his arthroscopic surgery, and holds the league's career record for interceptions. He is definitely motivated by the right reasons, mainly doing what he loves, I think, and you can see it in everything he does throughout his whole career.