Motivation is central to any discussion of performance because it is believed that it has a direct link to good performance. In other words, it is assumed that high motivation, produces high performance. Yet this may not always be the case, many other factors can affect performance independent of the effects of motivation. Focusing solely on motivation as the factor that is limiting performance is a one-sided approach. Before pointing the finger at low motivation take into account the other variables that could affect performance. These variables can be divided into four categories.
- Programming (The systems used to accomplish your goals)
Regardless of the level of motivation if the fitness program you are participating in does not have a combination of healing, and strengthening aspects in the session the program will not be sustainable for the long run. Here is an example if your program has plenty of strength training but no warm up, very little if any stretching or myo release techniques then tight, strained muscles are inevitable. Anther example if the nutrition plan you are following is to rigid then feelings of being deprived will accumulate and may cause binge eating patterns.
- Individual Difference (Understanding your specific needs to succeed and how to apply them)
A variety of factors within the individual can affect performance regardless of motivation. For example, lacking understanding of the technique, or skills to get the job done will hamper performance even in the most motivated person. What may appear at the surface to be a motivational problem may be a problem of individual abilities.
- Group Dynamics (Is the group motivating or hindering performance?)
Groups can be highly motivating but also foster poor performance. Often, we are taught working together is better, this is true when the goals of the members align. Groups that have varying goals, differing skill levels and poor management carry much more performance hindering factors than the perceived benefits. Group dynamics work when individual effort is coordinated. This means the method of achieving the group goal is clear, each member of the group has similar skills / techniques and the session is hosted in a productive manner.
- Organizational Variables (Place, Time and Condition)
High performance of an induvial requires concentrated and coordinated effort across multiple disciplines (exercise, nutrition, psychological skills etc.) High levels of motivation and output in one area may be off set by lower performance in anther area. Organizational factors such as where you train, the time of day, and the state of your physical body at the moment of training can affect performance despite high levels of motivation.
As you can see our world is very complex and more variables are affecting us that go beyond motivation. Focusing on a single variable, such as motivation, while ignoring others leads to a narrow and limited view of high performance. Yet motivation is important but limited in its affects. Motivation is one piece of the puzzle that contributes to our greater understanding of individual high performance. #BeginYourAscent