The Way Intrinsic Motivation Kept From Giving Up

Dylan Alcott was born on December 4th, 1990, in Melbourne, Australia. Just a week after he was born, doctors found that he had a tumour wrapped around his spine. An operation was performed on him to remove the tumour, which left him a paraplegic at age 10. Even after these challenges, Dylan found a passion for wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis during his time at school. After focusing on basketball for 8 years, he decided to take on wheelchair tennis as a professional paraplegic athlete. Alcott is also a motivational speaker for raising awareness for people with disabilities and that they can always achieve their goals no matter their circumstance. Along his journey playing wheelchair tennis, Dylan has many awards and won many titles in professional competitions. His first two major achievements were in the 2008 Beijing and the 2012 London Paralympics, where he won a gold and silver medal for wheelchair basketball. Following them, he won the 2014 Perry New Zealand Wheelchair Tennis Open (QUAD doubles), 2015 Pensacola Open, 2015, VIS Award of Excellence winner, 2016 Rio Paralympics – gold in singles and doubles, 2019 French Open Champion, Australian Open Champion five years in a row from 2015-2019, and the winner of Wimbledon quad singles and doubles in 2019, all in wheelchair tennis.

Intrinsic motivation factors that could influence the motivation of Dylan Alcott as they strive to win or improve his performance are that he really enjoys playing wheelchair tennis and that he is passionate about the sport. This intrinsic motivation would help him want to use his passion and skill to eventually win a professional title. Alcott has used factors of intrinsic motivation such as challenge, competition, and fantasy to achieve what he has so far in his career. Dylan would have used challenge because he wants to push himself to do his best and challenge himself in ways that will help him improve his skill and understanding of the sport. Competition would be used to have something to aim for such as thinking about playing against an opponent to win a title using his passion for wheelchair tennis. Alcott would used fantasy to fantasise about what would happen if he keeps working hard and how that can help him have a chance at winning a professional title.

Dylan Alcott’s motivation levels could decrease if something happens that makes him not want to try as hard or something that would make him not feel like playing on a certain day. This could take place if he has had an injury that could affect how they see the game or how they perform in training. If Alcott saw his skill level or performance change, he could become less motivated and want to focus on something else such as improving his health before going back to playing tennis. Another thing that could decrease his motivation levels could be if there is a death in his family and he wanted to just focus on supporting his family instead of using all of his time training and competing for wheelchair tennis titles. Finally, if Alcott came across an opponent who was beat him the past few times of competing against them, he could feel less motivated because he may think that he is going to lose to him again, although this could also be a factor of his motivation increasing because he wants to beat the opponent this time.

If an athlete is very successful and earns millions of dollars, this would affect their level of motivation, depending on the person. Some athletes rely on success and money to help their motivation level because it helps them think about what could happen if they win more titles and how they would earn even more money. Dylan Alcott does not rely on these things to change his level of motivation, as he has said that he would rather focus on improving his skills while showing other disabled people that you are able to follow your dreams, which I think plays a huge role in his motivation levels increasing. The satisfaction of seeing others be inspired from his actions would definitely make him feel good about himself and that would want to make him do even better and try even harder.

If I was Dylan Alcott’s sports psychologist, I would be able to help him increase his intrinsic motivation using my knowledge and understanding of their sporting achievements. I believe that helping him focus on the present time instead of the future would help him become more motivated because if he looks too far ahead in the future, he could think about the wrong situations and become stressed. Thinking about one day at a time helps athletes think more about their health and fitness, as well as how they can improve their skills. 

07 July 2022
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