Sports Confidence Theory

Vealey's sports confidence theory and examples


Vealey's model

Sports confidence measures 2 factors:

  • Traits Sports confidence (SC trait)
  • State sports confidence (SC state)

Trait sports confidence is innate & stable . Trait confidence is the generalised belief of an individual about the extent to which their ability will bring success to one particular moment.

State sports Confidence: State sports confidence can be developed through learning and tends to be changable.It is also the belief of an individual about the extent to which their ability can bring success to one particular situation.

The state sports confidence is determined by 3 factors: 

1. trait sports confidence

2. The objective sports situation

3. the performer's competitive orientation

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Key terms within sports confidence theory

OBJECTIVE SPORTS SITUATION: The type of skill that is to be performed. This could include the siuation in which the skill is to be performed.

COMPETITVE ORIENTATION: The extent to which an individual is prepared to compete. Also whether an individual strives to achieve a performance goal or product goal. 

The extent to which the athlete percieves the performance to be a success is a subjective outcome and is shown to promote:

1. An outcome percieved to be good = increase in trait confidence and competitiveness and also state confidence will increase

2. An outcome percieved poor = decrease in trait sport and competiveness and decrease in state sport confidence

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effects of outcomes on SC TRAIT & SC STATE


1. depress SC state

2. reduce self-efficacy

3. make the performer feel less confident 

4. cause avoidance behaviour


1. elevate SC state 

2. increase self-efficacy

3. make the performer feel more confident 

4. faciliate approach behaviour

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Strategies to improve state sports confidence

1. mastery of skill- occurs when a skill has been acquired and the performer percieves progress has been made 

2. Styling- confidence will increase if the athlete can demonstarte hoghly skilled performances to significant others 

3. Physical and mental preperation will increase the likelihood of successful performance

4. social reinforcement - praise and approval from others particularly in the context of team cohesion, willl raise confidence.

5. effective leadership- promotes confidence in team members 

6. Enviromental comfort- people who lack self-confidence will be helped if the working conditions are suitable .

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