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Self-confidence describes a general disposition which is stable and global (far reaching and inclusive)

Self-confidence influences motivation and determines a persons decision to participate in physical activity, so higher levels of self-confidence can lead to a person doing more PA and leading a BAHL.

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A performer is more likely to produce a better performance if they believe in their own abilities to complete the task.

Generally you perform better if you feel more confident.

Your confidence levels can vary a lot throughout a game or performance situation depending on what happens during it, as you may feel more confident at certain skills you have to perform during it than other skills.

A teacher shouldn't only develop skills, but also self-belief to give you self-confidence, so that you have more chance at succeeding.

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Definition: It is a person's belief in his/her ability to succeed in a particular situation.

Bandura put forward this concept as an important explanation of success or failure.

Its about how someone's self-confidence can affect their motivation and overall performance.        Self-efficacy=situation specific confidence

Bandura said that as you become more competent in specific skills, you develop a positive self-belief you can excel at that particular skill. We make judgements based on our own capabilities to perform a specific task or how to deal in a specific situation.

A persons level of self-efficacy will affect the:

Activity they choose, the amount of effort they put in and the level of persistence they have.

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Self-efficacy continued....

Someone who's said to have positive self-belief is said to have a high self-efficacy-(which is specific self-confidence from the perception of a person about their standard of ability in particular activities and situations.) e.g. a netball player may feel confident playing in a defense position, but if put in an attack position may feel that they cant do it, and have low levels of self-efficacy.

Bandura said people with high self-efficacy tend to seek challenges and persevere with tasks.(Approach behavior) They tend to attribute success to internal factors that relate directly to themselves, like ability and effort. So this would increase confidence and expectation of success during the next challenge. Self-efficacy can have a powerful influence on performance by raising the performers expectation of success.

"Once extraordinary performances are shown to be achievable they become commonplace."

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Self-efficacy continued....

People with low self-efficacy tend to have an avoidance behavior, so they give up easily and get anxious when tasks get difficult.  They tend to relate failure to internal factors.  So internal attributions can reduce a persons expectation of success.

A persons level of self-efficacy expectations can influence the choice of activity they choose to take part in, and the level of commitment they put in. 

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Self-efficacy theory

Efficacy expectations can be changed by an input of 4 types of information.

By applying each of the 4 sub-processes below, the coach can change the negative expectation of those lacking self-efficacy, into positive expectations, which will increase self-efficacy.

1. Past performance accomplishments- To increase self-efficacy of a performer if they experience a loss of confidence the performer should be reminded of previous successes in the same skill or situation they've lost the confidence in.  This type of reinforcement can have the most effect. E.g. A trampolinist may perform a somersault and over-rotate so they land on their face, which can knock their confidence to try the somersault again. But if they're reminded of times when they've been successful and landed it correctly, they may want to try it again.

2.  Vicarious experiences- If a performer with low self-efficacy watches others of a similar ability perform the skill they're having problems with, do it successfully, it can help them to believe they can do it too. This can help to reduce their worry and develop their confidence. E.g. A gymnast may want to try a backwards somersault, but lacks the confidence to do so, however if they watch their friend in their group with a similar ability level perfrom one correctly, it helps them to believe they can do it too. 

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Self-efficacy theory

3. Verbal persuasion- This is about convincing the performer that they have the ability to perform the skill in question.  This positive talk tries to raise self-belief and is usually given by the coach.  Positive persuasions increase self-efficacy, and negative persuasions decrease self-efficacy. E.g. You may be perfectly capable of performing a skill, but just don't have the confidence to go ahead and try it.

4. Emotional and physiological arousal control- This involves the evaluation the performer makes of their internal feeling and physiological stateE.g. If someone lacks in self-efficacy they may experience increased heart rate as a symptom of worry and being nervous, rather than an indication of a positive physiological preparation for action. If a performer gets nervous before a game/competition and experience 'butterflies,' those with low self-efficacy see this as an inability, so it decreases their self-efficacy further.  However those with high self-efficacy see these signs as normal and not related to their actual ability. Psychological preparation like goal setting can help to change a performers perception of the effects they get due to arousal , and see them as signs that they're ready to compete. 

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Vealey's sports specific model of sport confidence

It investigates the relationship between levels of competitiveness and self confidence in sport. Naturally we'll have higher levels of confidence in a situation where we are more likely to achieve the correct arousal levels and be most motivated to participate.

Vealey says sports confidence is 'the belief or degree of certainty individuals posses about their ability to be successful in sport.'


Positive results increase trait confidence  (Trait sport confidence- stable characteristic of an individuals personality which is relevant to all sports situations.)

Positive results can cause the type of goal to be changed for the next performance. (Competitive orientation. (type of goal))

State sport confidence- level of self-confidence experienced in a specific sporting situation. This is a key factor that affects the overall level of self-confidence. 

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model continued....

Performance in the sport situation (behavioral responses)

The result of the event or performance subjective outcome:-

  • Perceived success
  • Perceived attributions
  • Performance satisfaction


The model shows that each individual will approach the sports situation from different perspectives due to a number of factors.  Everyone has different innate levels of confidence, known as 'trait sport confidence' (on card 8) which is applied to an objective sport situation. The level of confidence is also influenced by the players competitive orientation, which is about how the individual see's success and the type of goals they use to judge their performance.

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model continued....

When trait sport confidence and competitive orientation combine they result in the actual level of self-efficacy experienced by the performer. This is state sport confidence.

The level of confidence then in turn influences the behavior and skill level shown by the performer.

After a match or event the performer will judge their performance giving subjective outcomes, providing attributions for their success or failure.  This will result in feelings of satisfaction or disappointment. 


The more positive experiences gained will develop confidence and the desire to continue in the future, so helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Confidence in one sport can be transferred to another, so thats why its important to develop a wide range of skills and experience while you're younger.

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Ways to build self-confidence

  • Experience success at an early age
  • See others of a similar ability to yourself being successful
  • Receive encouragement verbally and positive feedback
  • Develop effective stress management techniques
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