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Movie, Sport Psychology

I chose the movie Bend it like Beckham to depict the role of motivation in sports psychology. According to psychologists, motivation is at the heart of many of sport’s most of the problems. Researchers have tried to measure the motivation involved. The SMS or the Sport Motivation Scale is devised to talk of motivation levels in quantitative aspects. The journal “Toward a New Measure of Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation, and Amotivation in Sports : The Sport Motivation Scale (SMS)” validates the motivation scale measurements in English and introduces seven subscales which measure the different forms of motivation outlined in Deci and Ryan’s theory (Pelletier et al., 1995).

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As observed by the psychologist, a person can be influenced by motivation which can be intrinsic, extrinsic or amotivation. The main character of the movie Jessminder or Jess is self motivated and doesn’t play for rewards. She plays with boys and her friend Tony for fun. This can be acknowledged as intrinsic motivation. Jesse shows all signs of intrinsic motivation to know, to accomplish and to experience stimulation. She informs her coach that she has been playing all over the places in the park with her friends, when asked about her position in the team before. Results obtained with the French-Canadian sample reveal that female have higher level of intrinsic motivation to know (Pelletier et al., 1995). Before Jess joins the women’s team, she converses with the poster of Beckham and gets engrossed in self praise. She shares moments when she had scored from 25 yards with the “skin headed” Beckham, as proclaimed by her mother.

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Despite all of her family constraints, Jess perseveres to excel in the sport. She does not miss to play around with the ball in the whole house including the time when she drying the clothes or helping her mother in the kitchen.

She follows Beckham and loves his favorite stroke. She plays the same shot in the end to get a goal. Jess in a way is driven by committed and winning attitude towards the game. While she dries the cloth or works in the kitchen, she plays. Her spirit remain high even after listening to the discouraging remarks of her mother. Such factors may lead to amotivation in individuals but Jess overcame all the negative emotions. She wanted to play from the team and liked winning.

Jess didn’t know her potential to play and win for a team until she was told by Jules. Her coach motivates her to leave her scars behind and play for the team with all concentration. He tries to convince her parents so that they let her play. These are the examples of extrinsic motivation ushered onto her by her friends and her coach. Her coach did his job well and knew “his stuff”, as confirmed by Jess.

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This amazing zeal for the game allows Jess to deal with her parents and go for match practices. Only when her parents want her to be with her sister for her marriage, she leaves the training but eventually in the movie, she is able to win the heart of her father and could coerce him to allow her to play and get selected by a scout team. Jess succeeds and plays her favorite shot of her hero Beckham, to win the match in the finals. These events are in cohesion with the analysis done by Pelletier, Fotier, Vallerand, Tuson and Briere that intrinsic motivation and self determining are advantageous in sports as compared to controlling events like competition, deadlines etc. which are the cause of poorer performance and less creativity.

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