Self Confidence and Performance
Confidence is the essential trait that defines each individual’s hope and faith in achieving their goals, that leads to successfully achieving accomplishments in the future. The vast majority of physiologists feel self confidence is essential to gaining success and without it, consistently performing at high levels in school, on the job, in sports, and social activities is not possible– Importance of confidence – www.iceskatingresources.org
What is Sports Confidence?
Individuals who are successful in any walk of life have many traits that stand out, and without question one of the main ones is confidence. It is the same in the sporting world and it is no coincidence that those who are successful in sport, have a great confidence in their own ability. Confidence can often be one of the key differentiating psychological factors between successful and unsuccessful performance. The article What’s Sports Confidence provides us with the following definition:
Having sports confidence means having self-confidence which is YOUR belief in YOUR ability to complete a physical skill or task required in your sport. Our confidence can be bolstered at times by others’ belief in us; but, ultimately, we have to believe in our own abilities to go out there and perform our best.
It may be tempting to presume that this self-belief is something that these athletes are born with, but in many cases it is a trait that the athlete has developed over the years. What is important to understand is that this belief in their ability is not something that comes by accident, or as a result of them simply relying on natural talent.
Preparation is key
In terms of sport, confidence comes from being properly prepared. Dr Jim Taylor in the Huffington Post talks about Prime Confidence.
Prime confidence is a deep, lasting, and resilient belief in one’s ability. With prime confidence, you are able to stay confident even when you’re not performing well. Prime confidence keeps you positive, motivated, intense, focused, and emotionally in control when you need to be.
How to achieve Prime Confidence
In another article entitled Five keys to athletic confidence, Dr Taylor identifies the five key components to achieving Prime Confidence and they are as follows:
- Preparation breeds confidence: Preparation is the foundation of confidence. This preparation includes the physical, technical, tactical, equipment-related and mental parts of your sport, and it means putting the necessary time and effort into every aspect of your training
- Mental Skills reinforce confidence: Inspirational thoughts and images will bolster your motivation, positive self-talk and body language to fortify your confidence, intensity control to combat confidence-depleting anxiety, keywords to maintain focus and avoid distractions, and emotional-control techniques to calm yourself under pressure
- Adversity ingrains confidence: Athletes can’t always train or compete in ideal conditions, so an athlete has to be prepared to overcome adversity. The challenge is to maintain your confidence when you’re faced with the worst possible conditions, situation or opponent
- Support bolsters confidence: It’s difficult to achieve success on your own. The very best athletes in every sport have many people supporting them. There will be times when things are just not going well, and it helps to have people to whom you can turn for support and encouragement
- Success validates confidence:
All the previous steps in building confidence will be for naught if you don’t then perform well and achieve your goals. Success validates the confidence you have developed in your ability; it demonstrates that your belief in your ability is well-founded
Dr Taylor sums up his views by stating:
The ultimate goal of prime confidence is to develop a strong and resilient belief in your athletic ability so that you have the confidence to give your best effort, perform at your highest level and believe you can achieve your goals in the most important competitions of your life.
Sports Confidence among University Athletes
Recent research entitled Sources of sports confidence and contextual factors among university athletes examined the sources of sport confidence among randomly selected Kenyan university athletes. Data was collected using the Sources of Sports Confidence Questionnaire (SSCQ) (Vealey et al, 1998). The SSCQ is a 43-item instrument that examines 9 confidence sources, categorized into three higher-order dimensions which include
- achievement (mastery, demonstration of ability)
- self-regulation (physical/ mental preparation, physical self-presentation) and
- social climate (social support, vicarious experience, coach’s leadership, environmental comfort, situational favorableness)
The abstract of the research states:-
Among the highest rated sources of sport confidence were coaches’ leadership, vicarious experience, mastery and demonstration of ability. Athletes differed significantly across gender in vicarious experience with males recording higher scores. Social support also yielded significant difference across year of study with finalists having lower scores. Mastery, physical and mental preparation, social support and vicarious experience showed significant difference in favour of those who had longer playing experience
The findings of the study have practical implications for student-athlete preparation for sport competition and research suggests that the Management of university sports should consider the implications of the diverse demographics in order to optimize sport confidence among their student athletes.
How Metrifit helps with preparation and confidence
Being prepared means paying attention to all aspects of an athlete’s regime. If a coach or an athlete knows that they have done their best in terms of preparing through nutrition, sleep, training and are mentally focused, then they can go into competition with a self-belief that is based on solid foundations. Through simple effective monitoring, coaches and athletes can easily identify areas that might affect preparation and steps can be taken to ensure each athlete is in their best condition to perform. Metrifit can help build the confidence that might make the difference between winning and losing. Research by Anna Saw (Deakin University, Australia) detailed in Athlete Self-Report Measure Use and Associated Psychological Alterations has shown that use of Metrifit is associated with increased athlete sporting self-confidence. Metrifit is ‘athlete-centric’ helping to develop self-awareness, encourage creative thinking and emotional intelligence as well as developing ownership and responsibility within the athlete for their own success.
Find out more about Metrifit
Metrifit’s athlete monitoring and well-being software is used world-wide in team environments in Universities, High Schools, National Associations and with professional and amateur teams across many sports. Our new lifestyle profiling functionality is based on years of experience in this area – we know the key factors that underlie optimal performance. This is available for coaches and teams. It provides an essential baseline to assess where you are, and set goals and objectives to improve in key areas that ultimately will improve your performance.
To find out more contact us at or click on ‘Request Demo’ below.
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Confidence Matters for Athletes By Dr. Jim Taylor