Over the past several years, Hard 90 Baseball has been studying athlete make up and key indicators of long term success.
The number one thing we have found in athletes long term success relates to an intrinsic (or internal) source of motivation.
"Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards. In other words, the motivation to engage in a behavior arises from within the individual because it is naturally satisfying to you."
Almost all athletes start with extrinsic motivation in sport. As kids, athletes tend to engage in activities with parents, relatives and friends. They derive enjoyment from spending time with parents or family members in sport and earning praise from these family members for participating in the sport.
As kids enter Jr. High School and High School, participation in sport at an elite level requires more time commitment. Activity related to sport - position specific preparation, practice and strength and conditioning can be perceived as hard work to maintain high level performance.
High school coaches have commented that over the years, the majority of the players that enter their ranks are extrinsically motivated. This extrinsic motivation leads to a drop off in practice and training effort as most players default to the middle level effort of their peer group - which then leads to a drop off in long term success and performance.
The players that really thrive long term derive satisfaction internally from a deep desire to pursue the sport. They willingly give each workout their best, they seek out extra workouts, they surround themselves with others that have an internal desire to be the best that they can be.
Over the last two weekends, Hard 90 has been treated to an epic match up between two teammates at a local high school that are intrinsically motivated. These two teammates arranged for a 3 and 4 inning one on one battle on our Hittrax Simulator to get ready for the season.