The Interdependence of Motivation and Emotions in Physical Education and Sports Activity


B.P. Yakovlev, professor, Dr.Psych.
G.D. Babushkin, professor, Dr.Hab.
E.G. Babushkin, associate professor, Dr.Psych.
N.R. Usaeva, postgraduate
Surgut state university KhMAR-Yugra, Surgut1
Siberian state university of physical culture and sport, Omsk2

Key words: physical education and sports activity, motivation, emotions, age features.

Physical education and sports activity, as any other activity, depends on external and internal determinants which induce in a man the personal meaning making process,  as “…a relatively stable and independent hierarchically structured system which contains a range of semantic structures of different levels functioning as a unified whole”, showing psychological relations between different needs, needs and motives, between a motive and a goal, including the interrelation between motivational and emotional components, and causes satisfaction of human activity. (A.N. Leont’ev, B.S. Bratus’, Y.M. Zabrodin, B.A. Sosnovskiy). The close interrelation of motivational and emotional components create a whole unity which presents an ancient mechanism of stimulus control with a goal to make it relevant to human body needs and environmental conditions [4].

The closest relationship of emotions and motivation is recognized by a number of modern psychologists [1, 2, 11, 12, 14 et al.]. According to S.L. Rubinstein, human emotions caused by the interaction with objects and phenomena, are preliminary to human actions to these objects and phenomena [13]. There is no applied research on emotions and motivations interrelation. The results of such research could be a basis for the motivation formation process for practicing specialists (teachers, psychologists). As motivation formation is an educational process and positive emotions are compulsory for educational effects, it would be wrong to exclude this rule of education in control of the motivation formation.

Emotions and motivation have been researched in details in the foreign psychology. A big volume of knowledge about human emotions and motivation has been accumulated by researchers. American psychologist K.E. Ezard [6] studied the interrelation between emotions and motivation in his research. According to his believes about the interrelation between emotions and motivation, an accompanying emotion interacts with motivation and regulates it in one of three ways: makes it stronger, weaker or depressed. The author suggests the following sequence of emotions: activation of an emotion - experience causing an emotion – an activity caused and sustained by the emotional state.

Foreign researchers of motivation [18, 19] offered the affective arousal theory, according to which all motives are obtained in the process of relating motives with affective state. According to their theory, motives which cause a slight discrepancy or deviation from the usual level of affective arousal, lead to a positive affect and motivate approach behavior. Motives which cause significant derivation, lead to a negative affect and motivate avoidance behavior. In his research on emotions and motivation interrelations E. Deci [18] came to a conclusion that affect is primary to other processes. According to his theory, emotions work as a motivational factor and the interaction between emotions and behavior (motivation) is recognized. Emotions are primary and effect consequences of behavior. To sum up the analysis of the emotions and motivation interaction we can talk about their interrelation and priority of emotions in motivation of human behavior.

Quite extensive material on the study of emotions and motivations in physical education and sports activity has been accumulated in the field of psychology of physical culture and sport. These personality manifestations were studied mainly separately. The researchers suggest various means and methods to form the sports motivation. But the recommendations not always take into account age-related psychological rules. So the influence on the consciousness of a primary schoolchild when the physical education and sports motivation is being formed, as assumed by some researchers, contradicts with the rules of mental evolution. It will not be effective to induce a schoolchild to regular classes of physical culture and sport, by explaining how good and useful it is going to be.

J.J. Russo [14], in due time pointed out the same and suggested pupil learning on his own experience and not just being told about it for the educational purposes. He formulated the most important principle of education: “no mediation, only conditioning”. Later on V. Vilunas stated that it had little effect to influence human logics and consciousness with the aim of motivation formation at early stages of human ontogenesis [4].

Telling a preschool child or a primary schoolchild how good it is for him to go in for physical culture and sports, even telling in details how important it is in life, cannot be compared with really experienced confirmation. It is enough to involve primary schoolchildren into camping with some obstacles revealing strong physical qualities, when schoolchildren can see how necessary it is to improve their physical state.

Physical education and sports motivation formation has to be controlled according to physiological features of age of schoolchildren, athletes. It was proved by our collaborate researches with postgraduates [2, 5, 8-10, 16].

The most effective direction in development of the motivation of primary schoolchildren for going in for physical culture and sports, is creating positive emotions while influencing their subconscious minds by adding physical culture and sports terminology in the content school subjects [5]. The content is very important in education. It enables to actualize the concepts of physical culture and sports in schoolchildren’s minds, their importance in human life, and helps to develop the positive attitude to physical culture and sport. Primary schoolchildren’s physical education and sports knowledge gives an idea about physical culture values and aims to develop motivation to go in for physical culture and sports. Emotions can arouse according to present human needs [4], that is why in her research T.V. Golovina [5] states that not all pupils of experimental classes develop positive emotions and motivation to go in for physical culture and sports.

Communication with mates is the most popular activity in the adolescence. Thus, when forming and developing sports motivation a special attention is to improvement of interpersonal relationships, creation of healthy climate in a sports team. In view of the above [8], we created a methodology of formation of sports motivation in young basketball players aged 13-15, based on continual satisfaction of actual needs (in communication, approval, respect, self-affirmation, etc.). Creation of good interpersonal relationships facilitated positive emotions and formation of competitive and achievement motivations.

Once young athletes start to take part in sport competitions on regular basis, the effective ways to strengthen sport motivation are motivation training of causational schemes, personal causation, internal motivation and achievement motivation [2]. When training of causational schemes is involved in work athlete’s attitude to failures significantly determines his future behavior. The changes of this attitude, made by a trainer, will change athlete’s behavior in the future. Motivation development with the help of personal causation training is considered as developing athlete’s awareness that he or she causes this kind of behavior and consequences. While using the internal motivation training, athletes have to form the following subjective states: 1) concentrated attention, thoughts at selected sports classes, excluding different thoughts, feelings, distractions; 2) sense of full involvement into sports; 3) clear idea of procedure, clear understanding of goals, aims, means of goal achievement; 4) lack of anxiety, worries, no lack of confidence before starting work. The achievement motivation training aims to create athlete’s ambition to achieve high results using the technique of the “thematic apperception test”, analysis of other people’s achievements in various fields. The effectiveness of motivation trainings was proved in a number of researches when working with athletes with various skill levels involved in different sports [2, 8, 16, 17].

Whilst working with senior athletes the task is to keep their sport motivation. It can be obtained indirectly by accelerating the restoration of athletes’ physical working capacity after trainings sessions and competitions to invoke their positive emotions, improve their general state, mood and make them more active. It was proved in our research involving elite athletes (fencers, skiers) [10]. The authors developed a method of activation of elite athletes’ sport motivation. Its key elements are as follows: 1) affecting athletes’ physical state with massage and psychological training after training session; 2) reduction of stress after restoration session; 3) inhibition of ergotropic system and activation of trophotropic one is noticed during restoration session; 4) restoration stimulates improvement of psychological and emotional state, higher activity, better health state, mood, satisfaction with training process and desire to keep improving in sport; 5) improvement of  psychological and emotional state actualizes competitive and achievement motivations.

Conclusion. We assume that emotions and motivation for physical education and sports activity are displayed not only separately but all together, influencing the behavior and effectiveness of athlete's competitive activity. Emotions represent a psychological field which lays the basis for development of motivational processes. Hence, first of all it is necessary to create conditions for an athlete to display his positive emotions when forming a sport motivation in athletes of different ages and qualifications.


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