A CONFIDENT ATHLETE
If athletes do not believe they can achieve and accomplish the desired outcome from their actions, they have little to no motivation for their future in the sport or they do not carry on when a difficult situation occurs. Athletes must have the relevant physical skills and capabilities to perform but some of them are less confident when it comes to compete and act under pressure. Thus, being successful in sports is also based on psychological factors. One of the most influential psychological models in sports is confidence or self-efficacy. Athletes, coaches, fans, sports psychologists all know the power of confidence and self- efficacy.
Confidence is the athlete’s realistic expectation that they can succeed and win. It’s the faith in their selves and their power. Confidence is not the belief that someone will be the winner always but it is the faith in his or her capabilities that he or she can perform on the maximum anytime. Realistic confidence leads the athletes to victories and good performance. On the other hand, low confidence and hesitation for a task push the athletes to mediocracy. If athletes do not believe that they can achieve with their actions then they have less chances and incentives to succeed.
Self-efficacy plays a major part in determining our chances for success. Self-efficacy is different than confidence. There are some psychologists rating self-efficacy above talent. According to Albert Bandura self-efficacy is defined as “beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments”. These beliefs can influence an athlete’s actions and choices, their effort, the time they spend to overcome an obstacle or failure and the level of stress during an attempt.
Is there a way to increase self-efficacy? There are some factors that can help an athlete to improve his or her self-efficacy:
- Mastery experiences: Previous performance accomplishments.
- Vicarious experiences: Can be derived through observing others performing a skill successfully.
- Verbal persuasion: Believe in your abilities. Positive feedback from parents, coach, peers.
- Emotional and psychological states:Stress, effort, persistence.
- Imaginal experiences: The athlete must see himself demonstrating mastery.
Having the skills for certain tasks is different than having the confidence to perform them well under pressure and challenges. By being confident, an athlete increases the chances of doing his or her best on certain tasks. The more confident an athlete is, the better he or she performs and everyone can get better.
Coach Illias Filopolous