Revolutionizing Education: Applying the Principles of Sports Motivation for Academic Success


Navneet Mehta, Director, Kanhya Lal Nirmal Kumar T. Pvt. Ltd.

Human Nature is a powerful thing, yet our lives seem to be littered with initiatives that encourage us to go against our nature- our human nature. In our elementary schools, we expect a ten-year-old boy full of energy and curiosity to sit still for hours and perform repetitive tasks. Students worldwide would rather play much than study.

Why do students put up to ten times as much energy and effort into playing games as compared to their studies?

Here at K N Trophies, we term it the Five Principles of Sports Motivation.

  • Clearly defined goals.
  • Better scorekeeping and scorecards.
  • More frequent feedback.
  • Being rewarded publicly
  • Media favors covering reward recipients.

When educators adopt the motivational principles of sports, which foster natural enthusiasm and engagement, academic outcomes can improve, leading to more proficient and higher-achieving students. In such scenarios, students will be motivated to study harder than they currently do.”

In sports, the scorekeeping is better because of the clarity of objective and also for the reason that it is self-administered, audited peers, dynamic, allows the player to compare current personal performance with past personal performance and with an accepted standard.

If you were getting feedback on your golf game comparing you to Tiger Woods, you would soon become discouraged and quit because you could never win, but in games, feedback is more frequent. Every day, everybody needs to know whether they are winning or losing, every over, every ball!

In the same manner, schools and colleges should organize more competitions at various locations, awarding winners with trophies and featuring their achievements in local newspapers, school magazines, and college notice boards. They ought to share on social media platforms and consider boosting such posts to reach wider audiences.

Fortunately, in most games, you don’t have to depend on a supervisor to tell you how you are doing. You know what the score is as the game progresses, and nobody can change that just because they didn’t like you. The feedback is accurate and frequent – you know where you stand every time you throw the ball.

Feedback is the breakfast of champions.

If you want to improve the quality of performance in any area, you simply increase the frequency of feedback. If you have a problem and are getting a quarterly report, change it to a monthly one.

What do you think happens when these five principles are applied in education? Can you envision the same level of enthusiasm in your college for achieving goals as you see in a cricket league?

The principles that lead to motivation in games can be applied in the education world with remarkable results.

Why can ten people with volleyball and a net achieve teamwork and become a well-managed work team in a matter of minutes, but those same ten students can totally fail to achieve that kind of harmony while studying?

The answer lies in providing the keys to “Enjoying studies as much as Play.”

The Five Principles of Sports Motivation examines the phenomenon that people often work harder at sports and athletic endeavors than they do at their studies.


Because in sports a participant has constant feedback on how he or she is doing. The score is known, and the effort necessary to win is established.

Imagine a world where education is gamified!


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