What Is Your Motivation?

What motivates you? Learn about the most common motivations for athletes from STACK expert Lynden Gwartney.

Sports Motivation

You have a reason for playing your sport, and that motivation will be the determining factor of how far you go and what performance level you achieve. It should be the force that drives you, compels you and inspires you.

Common Motivations


Many choose to play a sport because they enjoy it. They get pleasure out of succeeding in the challenge of performing the skills required to play, whether it's catching a football, hitting a baseball, making a three-point shot in basketball or kicking a soccer ball into the net.

Love of the Game

For other athletes, deep passion is what drives them: they just love the game. They get deep enjoyment from every aspect of their sport—the skills required, the equipment, the beauty of teamwork, even the type of athleticism needed. Those who have a strong "Love of the Game" feel a deep connection to every part of their sport.


Some athletes are more socially motivated. The friendships they form playing sports become their driving force. When people work hard together to achieve a common goal, unique bonds are formed, and they can develop into life-long friendships.

Being Part of a Team

Some are motivated by being part of a team. For these athletes, the experience of working together toward a common goal, something bigger than themselves, something they could never accomplish on their own, meets a deep need in their lives. The need to be united with others is very strong, and participating in team sports meets that need.

Desire To Be The Best

Finally, there are athletes who have a hunger to be the best in their sport. Their drive is so strong that they constantly search for ways to improve every part of their game. These people spend countless hours in the gym to increase their size, speed, strength, agility and flexibility. They purchase nutrition supplements to help their body perform at its highest level. They become students of the game and increase their Sports IQ by studying the best athletes in their sport, learning how to more effectively use their physical abilities to perfect their skills. They increase their knowledge of teamwork and leadership so they can improve the performance of the athletes around them. They purchase the highest quality equipment designed to give them the edge over their competition.

Which Motivating Factor Produces Champions?

Each of these motivational factors is a great reason to participate in sports. But only one of them produces champions.

"Desire To Be The Best" is the single most powerful force for producing Champions.

If you want to play a sport recreationally, your reason for playing doesn't matter as much. But if you want to become a champion in your sport, you need to cultivate a deep, burning passion to be the absolute best player your sport has ever seen. Make the "Desire To Be The Best" your driving force, and you'll put yourself on the fast track to becoming a champion!

Every morning STACK posts motivational quotes on Facebook and Twitter to get you up and running. An articulate and powerful quote can go far to motivate and encourage you along the way to achieving your goals. Get inspired with STACK-approved quotes and let us know which one is your favorite!

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