THE KEY TO
University of Idaho
What is self-confidence?
True Self-Confidence – is a realistic belief
or expectation of achieving success.
not what you hope to do but what you
realistically expect to do
not what you tell others but your innermost
thoughts about your realistic capabilities,
not pride in past deeds but a realistic
judgment about what you are able to do
Self-efficacy – is a realistic belief or expectation
about achieving success on a specific task in a
For example, “I can pole vault 16’6” in this
meet.” or “I will hit this game-winning shot.”
Self-efficacy is least impacted by personality
because it is highly specific, unstable and based
on situational factors such as task difficulty,
preparation, recent successes/failures and
TYPES OF CONFIDENCE
Confidence is developed “bottom up. Athletes should attempt
to enhance self-efficacy by accumulating success
experiences in specific situations.
Next, as self-efficacy experiences increase , state self-
Finally, an accumulation of state self-confidence experiences
eventually boosts trait self-confidence.
For example, an athlete may have high self-efficacy of
rebounding well in an upcoming game but be worried about
her ability to play good defense on the opponent’s star
Making some good stops increases defensive self-efficacy
during the game. A strong overall defensive game enhances
state self confidence to play well overall in the next game,
while 6 good games in a row boosts trait basketball self
Global Level Self-Esteem
Domain Level Physical Mental Social Artistic
Sport Physical Physical
Level Competence Body Strength Condition
Mahoney & Avener (1976) 1976 Olympic
qualifiers were more confident than
Feltz’ (1988) review found moderate to
strong relationships between confidence
and performance (i.e., mean r = .54).
Research finds a reciprocal relationship
between self-confidence and
lowers anxiety by creating positive
expectations of success,
increases motivation by raising perceived
enhances concentration by eliminating
distraction from negative thoughts and
What are the three types
Diffidence Optimal SC Overconfidence
Competence -- possess the knowledge,
strategies, skills and abilities necessary
Preparation – sufficiently prepared so
you can successfully perform those skills
and strategies in a particular competitive
1984 upset of Georgetown in the
NCAA Championship Game.
DIFFIDENT ATHLETES . . .
confuse “what is” with what they “wish would
be” or with what “ought to be,”
see themselves as losers and act accordingly,
mistakes devastate their competence,
self doubts fuel self-fulfilling prophecies that
create a vicious negative spiral,
focus on their shortcomings and overlook their
are underachievers whose confidence limits
inflated confidence, and
People who believe they are better than they
really are and have an inflated opinion of
themselves and their skills.
They overestimate their abilities while
underestimating their opponents’ skills.
Pampering from parents/coaches, playing weak
competition, and excessive media hype are its
Often they are competent but don’t prepare
act confident on the outside but inside
fear failure and are really diffident,
pretend to be brash, cocky and arrogant,
difficulty admitting errors and filled with
difficult to coach because they won’t
accept responsibility for mistakes, and
normally prepare hard but lack the
competence to be successful.
What is the difference
and outcome confidence?
Performance Confidence – performers’
belief that they can execute the skills and
strategies necessary to perform well and
attain their goals.
Outcome Confidence – performers’ belief
that they will socially compare well and
win the competition.
WHY IS PERFORMANCE
Performance standards are more flexible
so they can be raised or lowered to
consistently achieve optimal difficulty
necessary to keep motivation high.
Success is also more controllable,
enhancing self-determination, and thus
prompting performers to take credit for
their successes as indicative of increased
What are some specific
strategies you use to boost
general confidence development
six confidence development tips for
strategies for developing and
maintaining confidence during
Hierarchical Model Interventions
Vicarious Experiences 2.
Verbal Persuasion 2.
Physiological Arousal 2.
modeling/demonstrations – Namath’s Jets,
imagery – Russell “déjà vu,”
reinforcement – enhances feelings of competence,
self talk – confidence script,
TIPS FOR PRACTITIONERS
develop a systematic goal setting
program and log and graph progress,
create a personal Hall-of-Fame,
design a systematic conditioning program
and maximize preparation,
use effective modeling strategies,
replay past successes and imagine future
emphasize confidence-building thoughts.
How do you maintain
DEVELOPING & MAINTAINING
appraise situations as challenges rather than
develop readiness, performance and
recovery plans to deal with problems,
emphasize problem-focused coping
strategies to reduce threat,
use emotion-focused coping techniques to
feel less threatened, and
focus on more controllable process and
What is the self-fulfilling
Self-Fulfilling Prophecies – occur when
coaches’/teachers’ expectations prompt
athletes/students to behave or perform in a way
that conforms with those expectancies.
Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968) found that a
group teachers believed were “academic late
bloomers” made greater educational gains than
did a control group for whom they had neutral
Expectancies of teachers, coaches and parents
can significantly raise or lower performers’
What are the four (4)
steps of the Self-Fulfilling
SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY MODEL
STEP 1 – Coaches Develop Expectations
STEP 2 – Coaches’ Expectations Influence their
Treatment of Athletes (i.e., frequency,
duration, and quality of interactions)
STEP 3 – Athletes’ Learning and Performance
Is Impacted by Differential Treatment
STEP 4 -- Athletes’ Behavior Conforms to
STEP 1: COACHES FORM
body type, and
style of dress.
conditioning and skills tests,
previous performance history,
evaluation of others, and
STEP 2: DIFFERENTIAL
type, frequency and warmth of
nature of instructional behaviors (e.g.,
skills taught, difficulty of skills, and
nature of feedback behaviors (e.g.,
valence, specificity, and corrective
attributions for success and failure.
STEP 3: COACHES’ BEHAVIOR
quantity and quality of learning,
quality of competitive cognitions
and performance, and
STEP 4: ATHLETES’
WITH COACHES’ EXPECTATIONS
Athletes most susceptible to Self-
Fulfilling Prophecy effects are . . .
lower in self-esteem,
more coachable, and
value success more.
How do we maximize
HOW TO MAXIMIZE
POSITIVE SFP EFFECTS
1. Determine what sources of information are used
to form expectations.
2. Realize initial expectancies may be inaccurate,
requiring adjustment as performers skill changes.
3. Equalize skill-development time across athletes.
4. Provide all performers sufficient time to fully
5. Respond to errors with corrective instruction.
6. Focus on product as a means to attain product.
7. Develop good coach-athlete relationships.
8. Create a performance-oriented team climate.