Why we do sport activity?

As human beings we need to be moving to develop and maintain biological functions, but also the need for cognitive development and the development of intellectual abilities. Many authors have investigated what motivates human beings and not just to move as a basic need, but what motivates us to do sport or physical activity.

Direct and indirect reasons.

To Rudik (1988), there are indirect and direct reasons for sports.

Direct reasons for sports
  • The special feeling of satisfaction experienced by the athlete by the manifestation of muscle activity (increase serotonin).
  • The esthetic pleasure derived from the beauty and lightness of the movements. You need only enter Instagram for photos of people in the gym “showing” their proud bodies.
  • The aspiration to look bold and determined to perform difficult and dangerous exercises. We tend always to want to be better in everything we do, whether sport or get an omelette.
  • The elements of competition and constitute an important aspect of the sport required. Having an order and discipline makes us mentally and ordered that reinforces the realization of the sport.
  • The desire to achieve results, records and win. Yes, winning loves everyone.
Indirect motives of sports activity
  • The aspiration to be strong, vigorous and healthy.
  • The desire to prepare for practical activity.
  • Understanding the social importance of sporting activity.

Other authors, such as Russian psychologist Bologachevski states that the reasons that push young people to sports have a more complex structure but also agrees that all are related to satisfaction, the result in the acquisition of skills and perspectives improving health or personal history (prepare oppositions, coaching, profesonal athlete, etc.)

Authors like Palaima speak immediate emotional appeal as the main motivator of sport. As for competitive activity there are moral reasons (duty, collectivism, patriotism), striving toward self-assertion, training related reasons, aesthetic reasons and reasons related to the desire to obtain privileges.

Stages of development of motivation for sport

There are three stages in the process, according to the approach clásco A.Z. Puni:

1. Initial Phase. At this stage acting three main trends are:

  • The emotional attraction of physical exercise.
  • Compliance obligations.
  • The need for the activity conditioned by lifestyle.

2. Specialization and choice. Emergence and development of interest in a particular sport. By the revelation of powers for himself and the aspiration to develop, saturation of emotions experienced by sporting success and expansion of special technical knowledge.

3. Master. In this last phase the specific reasons are:

  • Aspiration to keep the acquired expertise and achieve greater success. F.C. players Barcelona are masters of their sport but apparently not tired of winning titles.
  • The aspiration to serve the country with sporting success and achieve new records. What professional player does not want to go to the selection?
  • The aspiration to contribute to the development of sport chosen and convey the experience to young athletes. There are many cases of former professional athletes who become coaches and for that they need to continue improving their knowledge and it does not cease its activity albeit at a lower level, but trying to improve it.
    In other articles we elaborate on the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, how to achieve and increase the role of the coach as a motivator of their athletes.


Iván Pico

Director y creador de Psicólogo Colegiado G-5480 entre otras cosas. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales y Máster en Orientación Profesional. Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y Organizaciones. Posgrado en Psicología del Deporte entre otras cosas. Visita la sección "Sobre mí" para saber más. ¿Quieres una consulta personalizada? ¡Escríbeme!

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