The Confidence Cycle: Prepare to be Confident
Taryn Morgan, IMG Academy, USA
Theme: Mental training/interventions
Program ID: SYM-14
Presentation: October 3, 2013 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
Self-confidence is seen as an important mental skill related to performance (Horn, 2008) and has been studied for many years in sport psychology. Notably, Bandura’s self-efficacy theory (1977, 1986) suggested four sources of self-efficacy: performance accomplishments, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion and physiological states. From this, performance accomplishments showed the greatest effect on performance (McAuley, 1985; Feltz & Riessinger, 1990). Furthermore, Vealey’s self-confidence framework (1986, 1988) focused on trait and state sport confidence as well as competitive orientation. Vealey (1998) also focused on sources of sport confidence, delving into seven sources: performance/mastery, ability/outcomes, preparation/effort, social support, vicarious experience, psychological strategies and uncontrollable external sources. Vealey (1998) found that physical/mental preparation (preparation/effort and psychological strategies) accounted for the most variance while developing the Sources of Sport Confidence Questionnaire. Research by Gould, Hodge, Peterson and Giannini (1989), Horn and Hasbrook (1987) and Williams (1994) support that preparation/effort develop confidence in athletes. It makes sense that preparation would lead to confidence, but in some cases outcome oriented athletes gain their confidence from wins and losses, whereas process oriented athletes understand that preparation can lead to confidence, which in turn affects performance. Using mental strategies such as goal setting, positive self-talk and imagery can aid in preparation, thereby allowing an athlete to enter competition with greater confidence (Mamassis & Doganis, 2004). Mental training programs assist in developing confidence to compete successfully in sport. Process oriented athletes’ utilized preparation that was controllable as a determining factor of confidence more than outcome oriented athletes, whereas outcome oriented athletes’ confidence was influenced by demonstrating ability or less controllable factors (Vealey, 1998). In this presentation, a preparation and confidence cycle will be presented, as well as the types of mental skills used within the preparation phase of a confidence cycle and how this affected the performance for some athletes.