Quiz Time: How Real Is Your Drive to Win?

September 23, 2012 | Loren Fogelman

As I've studied sports psychology motivation, I've seen lots of emphasis placed on goal setting. But there is another motivational technique available to athletes, one way more powerful.

You see, it's easy to paint a picture and really mean what we say in the moment. But actions tell the real story—and not just the ones we take, but the ones we don't take. So what does all that mean?

By paying attention, sports psychologists can tell the difference between a driven athlete, one who takes a "no-excuses" approach to his or her goals, and an athlete who claims a commitment to top sports performance but lacks mojo. The spark of passion is missing.

What contributes to passion (or mojo)? The answer is easy and the solution is universal. Motivation strengthens your passion for your sport. Without the right motivation, you will lose spark and your game will suffer. Of the two types of motivation, external and internal, only one has a rich payoff.

External motivation

Why did you first start playing sports? Did your parents expect you to play? Were sports your escape route from a difficult life? External motivation comes from people and factors outside yourself. Have you ever noticed athletes who just go through the motions, like it's a job? Their hearts are not really in it. External motivators by themselves eventually lose their effectiveness.

Internal motivation

Your mojo comes from internal motivation. The push to go the distance comes from inside. Maybe you're driven to prove you're the best, or perhaps competing is the only time you feel fully alive. Regardless, even when things get tough, you're up for the challenge. You do it because you want to, not because you have to. That's what ignites you to reach your goal.

Full commitment assessment

Are you struggling to determine whether your heart is really in it for the right reasons? Are hidden obstacles blocking your progress? Sports psychologists have shown that it's possible to overcome them and to renew your full commitment. However, you need to be brutally honest with yourself. Take the following quiz to determine the extent of your true drive. Score each answer from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).

You lack certainty about your goal. Do you feel conflict? Maybe you see yourself as the top player in your group, but don't like attracting attention to yourself.

Your Score:___________

You like control. And this becomes a bottleneck in your quest for success.

Your Score:___________

You interfere with your own progress. Trying to figure out how it's going to play out can slow you down. There are some things you don't know yet.

Your Score:___________

Trust is an issue. You're a lone ranger and don't like depending on others.

Your Score:___________

Unclear vision. You cannot see yourself reaching your goal. Maybe you think you don't deserve it, or maybe everyone around you is focusing on your weaknesses instead of celebrating your achievements.

Your Score:___________

So where do you rate?

1-8 indicates high internal motivation
9-15 indicates a combination of internal and external motivation
16-25 indicates high external motivation

Although many athletes get started for external reasons, their motivation transitions to internal over time. It's up to you. Internal motivators strengthen your self-image and keep you committed, even when the going gets tough. External motivators can help, but only if you have that internal spark. They become icing on the cake.

Get crystal clear on your goals, connect with your personal reasons to do whatever is necessary to reach them, and believe it is possible. Believing in yourself and your full potential is a game changer.

Loren Fogelman
- Loren Fogelman is author of "The Winning Point" and founder of Expert Sports Performance, a company devoted to teaching athletes around the globe how to...
Loren Fogelman
- Loren Fogelman is author of "The Winning Point" and founder of Expert Sports Performance, a company devoted to teaching athletes around the globe how to...

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 182,224
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,271,699
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 81,017
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 896,919
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,195,981
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,321
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,467
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,921,007

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

Five Steps To Being A Better Coach - sports coach Coaches at all levels of sports are constantly asking more of the athletes they have the honor to work...

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

Unlock Your Full Athletic Potential

Unlock Your Full Athletic Potential

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

Using Sports Imagery as Pre-Performance Routine

Using Sports Imagery as Pre-Performance Routine

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

How Mentally Tough Are You?

How Mentally Tough Are You?

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

Q&A: How to Deal With a Tough Coach

Q&A: How to Deal With a Tough Coach

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

4 Tips for Building Confidence

4 Tips for Building Confidence

A Coach Describes What It’s Like to Cut Players

A Coach Describes What It's Like to Cut Players

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

3 Strategies to Reduce Stress and Increase Athletic Performance

3 Strategies to Reduce Stress and Increase Athletic Performance

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

Tips for Keeping a Tennis Journal

Tips for Keeping a Tennis Journal

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

YardBarker