Emotions in the athlete’s motivation and in the work with his/her brand
Emotions define our choice, our behavior, and our whole life. But emotions in our brain are determined by our beliefs that are being put into us throughout our life.
Emotions cannot be changed as they perform a much more important and utilitarian function than it is commonly believed. But you can change the concept of beliefs that define some emotions.
If we experience a certain emotion, doesn’t it mean that we should experience it because this is what society dictates?
It is even a more important issue within the athlete’s motivation and work with his/her brand in the context of the team’s overall brand. It’s a simple question that can change the approach to work and attitude toward the brand.
The understanding that emotions are at the center of our existence has changed the awareness of many processes. The somatic marker hypothesis, which is the basis of neuromarketing, is just one of the possibilities to understand the way our body tries to save the energy consumed through the use of emotions.
By creating simple emotions in relation to this or that acquired experience, our brain allows us to use these created somatic (emotional) markers in the future to make a quick decision.
In today’s complex world, this is not always acceptable, but throughout the evolutionary process, this approach has been steadily proving its consistency. Therefore, it is unlikely that our brain will start to change anything only because you need to choose a new gadget proceeding from its technical characteristics, and not because of your attitude toward the brand.
The more energy our brain can use, the more likely it is to involve logical thinking. However, as shown by experiments proving the validity of the somatic marker hypothesis, when our brain relies solely on logic, it cannot make even the simplest choice. As a result, the brain resorts to other solutions, but I have already discussed this in detail here and here.
To follow the body’s internal state is even easier for the brain, as there are no surprises of the surrounding world such as predators or other unpleasant dangers. Therefore, our brain decodes the signals received from our body as simple emotions.
But the moment society comes in, there begins a big problem with emotions. Kids can be taught various highly controversial statements like “boys do not cry” and “girls are weak.” This isn’t about gender stereotypes, but the fact that beliefs like these and other ones create a certain concept in our brain, which, when mixed with emotions, leads to negative consequences.
In working with athletes, you need to remember that they also have similar concepts that may prevent them from realizing the existing potential (be it the game potential or media one).
While working on the athlete’s motivation and brand, it is just the detection of the existing negatively influencing concepts and creation of new positive ones that are an important stage.
As I’ve written earlier, one can become a top athlete today, having spent 20% of his/her effort while getting 80% of the result. However, the trends are such that tomorrow, the new top sports stars will need to give a real 100% result to be on top. And this will require 80% of additional effort, which will include numerous elements from different disciplines.
The world around us is becoming more complicated. Sport (traditional or not) is no exception. The approach should become more professional; otherwise, the current market leaders will be surprised to find themselves on the sidelines.
The second important feature of the emotions’ influence on motivation goes through the athlete’s attitude to the team’s brand. It is important to secure the loyalty of the employees, including athletes, to the brand.
In this case, it is worth recalling the “us and them” division. This division is based on the social identity theory, which points to our desire to find a group for ourselves. We divide people into “us” and “them.”
We have a good attitude toward “our” group. This is regulated, among other things, by oxytocin. We trust the representatives of “our” group. Many manipulations are built on this division. One such example is that terrorists are capable of sacrificing their own lives to harm “them” for the sake of “us.”
However, this division can be used quite well in a positive way. But instead of “helping” the players a bit to fully make the team “our” group, there often happens the opposite: the players are kept at a distance and are not given the opportunity to become “ours” in the team.
It seems that many people aim at making everything as ineffective as possible.
Make the players part of the team history, add the right emotions through the overall positioning of the club and involvement of similar processes in the motivational process. And you’ll get much more for the same amount of money.
In working with the players’ motivation, the club brand should act as an additional motivating element. But it is possible only if there is qualitative work with the club brand, and its involvement in the motivational process is well-defined.
There are various psychological approaches that can be applied both in the club brand positioning and while motivating the players. Using a single approach to seemingly different areas, we solve for ourselves many problems.
You should realize that if you build the whole process as part of a single mechanism, it will definitely take more time from the outset. However, it will save a lot of problems in the process. And instead of subsequent spending of the resources on patching the constantly emerging holes, involving newer and newer employees, with a normal approach, you can achieve much more efficient functioning.
Leon The Alien
Originally published at www.sportsneuromarketing.com on October 21, 2017.