Positive and negative forms of motivation are at opposite ends of a continuum for motivation. Motivation will either be positive or negative, but this is often specific to the athlete’s view of positive and negative, though some things are universal.
Positive motivation is a reward for good performance. This does not have to be an extrinsic motivator, but can also be an intrinsic motivator, such as the good feeling that comes with achieving a goal or doing a personal best. Other examples of positive motivation includes, if a coach says the player will get a bonus $500 if he wins. Athletes who utilise positive motivation are more likely to take risks, be creative and perform under pressure.
Negative motivation, on the other hand, is punishment for poor performance. Once again this can be intrinsic or extrinsic in source. For example and athlete who beats themselves up for poor performance is negative and intrinsic, while if a coach says the player will be made to do a 30 minute anaerobic training session if they lose, this is a negative extrinsic motivator.
Positive motivation works better than negative, especially when it has been used through training, with praise given for good performances. If a coach or athlete is overly negative after a poor performance the result can be a decrease in motivation. Athletes who use negative motivators, such as being dropped off the starting team, often result in more conservative performances.