What is Your Mindset/Motivation in playing sports?


Abram Pimentel, Writer

Would you say…

  • Have fun while doing your best
  • Must win the match

Whether you enjoy playing sports as an everyday hobby or you like to play just to pass time, some of us, if not all, have a competitive mindset or feeling when playing sports. You may wonder, is there a significant difference between the mindset of you must win this match and the mindset of doing your best in the match, while having fun? The 34th President of the US, Dwight D. Eisenhower once stated that ‘motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.’ Motivation can be defined as an internal energy force or a dynamic flow of energy that affects all aspects of our behavior. Some aspects that it affects are how we feel, think, and interact with others. It can be manipulated to an extent that it can get athletes to exert to their full potential. However, motivation in sports is often difficult to exploit fully. It is important to have confidence in yourself, in others, and encourage them before and during a match. In my opinion, I think that whenever I play any sport I try to have a ‘do my best but don’t forget to have fun’ mindset. Of course, the goal that we often have when playing a sport is to win the match. Having this in mind in sports will help you to overcome obstacles and get back up from them when they come in a match. 

One thing to keep in mind when playing sports is that if you start on a good note in the first minutes of playing, you will be encouraged and gain confidence. If you make little mistakes in the first few minutes you are not going off to a good start and may get discouraged. Say you’re playing soccer and you go for a kick to score, but you miss. You can either let yourself be discouraged by the fact you didn’t score or you can pick yourself up and try again and avoid the mistake you made last. If you stay discouraged, you won’t do yourself any good by feeling that way the entire match while you will have many more chances to score again. Note: Studies also show that anxiety can affect how your body feels and reacts throughout the day concerning your performance on certain chores or activities, and sports. This greatly affects the way you play on the field. Below is a survey of students’ opinions on their mindset/motivation for playing sports. 


Names Must Win Doing your best while having fun Quotes
Colin Florio Yes ¨It’s always good to win, but if you don’t win, as long as you get better, it’s still fun.¨
Lydia Abruzzo Yes ¨It’s important to have fun, but I want to also focus on achieving my goals.¨
Stevie Rosenfield  Yes ¨I think it’s important to have fun, but when other players start to get competitive, it can lead you to play competitive¨
Akshar Gopa Yes “I think it’s important to have fun, but do your best, and it is also about having teamwork coordination.”
Andrew Tsiokos Yes “I think it’s good to have fun, do your best, and try to win.”

As you can infer from observing the table, if there were more students in the question, there would probably be more of a variety of opinions. In the end, we should all enjoy sports for fun and try our best to win whether it’s for fun or not and by adding competition to it, it can make the match more exciting and fun.  

Link Sources used for Research