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Article featured in Vega, written by Jaime Komer

In order to inspire others, we first and foremost must inspire ourselves. The greatest, yet most challenging, experience I had as an athlete was being the backup goalkeeper for the USA Women’s Water Polo Team in the 2008 Olympic Games. Yet my perspective and priorities were a little skewed at the time. I considered myself to be a failure for not achieving my goal of being the starting goalie.

The goal to be the best (go figure, a goalkeeper with goals), potentially in the world, was clouding my genuine love for the sport. Out walked intrinsic motivation and in walked extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation

When you are motivated by the enjoyment of the task at hand or by your individual willpower, you are intrinsically motivated. On the other hand, if you are motivated by a reward (money, degree, fame, etc.) or by a punishment, then you are extrinsically motivated. Competition is an example of extrinsic motivation, while developing a skill because it brings you joy is an example of intrinsic motivation.

As athletes, there are two sides to the game. On one side…click here to read more

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