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THE MOTIVATION IN THE ENDURANCE SPORTS

We talk to Nicola Delladio

THE MOTIVATION IN THE ENDURANCE SPORTS


News date06.12.2016

The motivation is a strategic element in sport and in general in different ambits of our life. Motivation is the reason that one person has for behaving in a certain way, such as also in playing sport, doing it with conviction and commitment to reach a fixed goal. We analyse this important element with Nicola Delladio, psychologist and psychotherapist.

Nicola Delladio

 

 

 

Nicola Delladio

www.nicoladelladio-psicologo.it


It is often heard from various quarters talking about motivation; we often use this word in our daily discussions about sport, school, work, family. Many times we hear or use phrases like “he has no motivation” “he must find the motivation inside himself” or “without the right motivation he will not be able to achieve his goal”. These expressions can be referred to different people and athletes, either professionals or amateurs.
The motivation is also connected to the fatigue element. The writer and marathon runner Murakami Haruki explains very well this concept in his book The art of Running. He writes about a runner who usually, during the competition, pushes himself telling his personal motto Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
What has Marcialonga to do with marathons or ultra-marathons? Sure 70 kilometres on the skis, as well as 135k on the bike or 26k running, could be definitely an obstacle race, that put a strain on the mental and physical resistance of the athletes, after several hours of pushes and slides. The fatigue is part of the game, exactly as the motivation.

Usually when we talk about motivation in the field of sport, it looks like it is something that only the luckiest racers got. But, actually, everybody can have it and above all, everybody can find it or rediscover it when lost. We have only to understand how to find it as it depends from person to person and this is exactly the work of the mental trainer: a new figure for new needs. The commitment and the search of this precious mate can certainly compensate the natural talent of the champions.

What does the science say about it? Psychology in particular, during its development, took care of it from different sides: there are a lot of theories, reports and books about this matter. But who has ever seen it? Who did ever talk to it? How could we describe it? Or much more important: how could we find it and where?

I try to connect the motivation with other words that could clarify its meaning: a push to do something, the willingness to reach a condition that we know is positive for us. Consequently, before the action we already know that it will be positive and we are involved in doing it. But what does this push depend upon? Many questions that lead to more questions.

An interesting element connected to the motivation is the interactive component of the sport activity, in other words: the relationship. An athlete who play sport for its own sake, is considered to have an intrinsic orientation, but the motivation depends also from outside sources. In this sense, a good group of friends increases the will to do sport and a good relationship with the mates, the trainer and the family, especially for young people, is fundamental to gain motivation. This may sound obvious, but in practice, there are innumerable difficulties.
In general, the fluid exchange of information and opinions and a serene and safe family and sporting environment, are the ideal conditions to develop a good self-confidence and together with competitive spirit and fun, form the perfect recipe for doing sport and taking part in a race.
There is no better explanation to describe the positive conditions, that in our case are referred to our health status, derived from a pretty demanding challenge, where the handling of fatigue and the mental preparation, play a key role.
The endurance sports require both a good body preparation and the knowledge and mastery of the so called mental aspects.

As we have read, in addition to the personal aspects related to own motivation (for example linked to the needs, interests, or even the goals), the relational component plays an important role towards the push that  leads us to practice a discipline, to train, to participate in a race and to finish it.

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