Sample Essay on Strategies for Increasing Self-Efficacy and Confidence and Their Effect on Sport Performance

Strategies for Increasing Self-Efficacy and Confidence and Their Effect on Sport Performance


            Self-efficacy and confidence denote the most influential psychological conceptions believed to have a strong impact on sports performance. Self-efficacy and confidence are major amid the aspects that sportsmen and sportswomen report to influence their success strivings in sport. Self-efficacy and confidence are understood as the conviction one has in being capable of implementing a given undertaking fruitfully with the purpose of attaining a particular result (for example, satisfaction or trainer acknowledgment). The development of self-efficacy and confidence is believed to start in infancy and progress all through life (Pineau, Glass, Kaufman, & Bernal, 2014). Comprehending the development of self-efficacy and confidence necessitates comprehending a wider theoretical setting. Self-efficacy and confidence are excellently comprehended with regard to social cognitive theory, a view to comprehending human cognition, achievement, inspiration, and feeling that presumes that people are active shapers of instead of just passive reactors to their surroundings. According to the social cognitive theory, people have strong cognitive and symbolizing abilities that permit the generation of internal patterns of experience, the advancement of novel strategies, the theoretical evaluation of such strategies, through the anticipation of results, and the communication of intricate notions and encounters to other people. People can take part in self-observation, examine, and assess their conduct, considerations, and feelings. The self-reflective actions prepare a ground for self-regulation where people can select ambitions and regulate their conduct in the hunt for the objectives.

At the core of self-regulation is the capacity to expect or develop anticipations, to employ past understanding and encounter to create beliefs concerning future occurrences, conditions, and beliefs regarding the capabilities and conduct. Social cognitive theory implies that the early growth of self-efficacy and confidence are controlled mainly by two interrelating aspects. It is controlled by the advancement of the aptitude for symbolic consideration, especially the aptitude to comprehend cause-effect associations, and the aptitude of self-examination and self-observation (Besharat & Pourbohlool, 2011). The advancement of a feeling of personal agency starts in infancy and shifts from the view of causal association between occurrences, to a comprehension that actions yield outcomes, to the identification that an individual can create actions that generate outcomes. The second aspect is that the development of self-efficacy and confidence is controlled by the responsiveness of surroundings, particularly social settings (Besharat & Pourbohlool, 2011). Surroundings that are reactive to the achievements enhance the development of self-efficacy and confidence whereas non-reactive settings hinder this advancement. Therefore, sportswomen and sportsmen generate a feeling of self-efficacy and confidence from participating in activities that influence the individuals around them, which then generalizes to the non-social surroundings.

Statement of the Problem

            Emotional and psychological conditions control self-efficacy and confidence when individuals start relating poor performance or identified failure to dissuasive emotional stimulation and victory with pleasurable emotional conditions. Therefore, when sportswomen and sportsmen become conscious of distasteful emotional stimulation, they are more probable of doubting their competence than when their emotional situations were pleasing or neutral. On the same note, pleasant emotional impressions are probable of making sportsmen and sportswomen feel confident in their capacity in the present condition. Nevertheless, physiological indications of self-efficacy and confidence broaden past autonomic stimulation. For instance, in sports requiring strength and stamina like rugby and athletic competitions, identified self-efficacy and confidence are controlled by encounters like weariness and pain. Confidence and self-efficacy have a great function in some common emotional challenges, in addition to triumphant interventions for the challenges. Lack of self-efficacy and confidence are likely to bring about distress. Distressed individuals normally think they are less able than other individuals of acting successfully in dissimilar significant areas of existence.

Dysfunctional anxiousness and avoiding conduct are normally the direct outcome of lack of self-efficacy and confidence for addressing threatening conditions. Individuals with strong self-efficacy and confidence in their capabilities to carry out and address potentially difficult conditions will approach such conditions tranquilly and not be excessively disturbed by problems. On the contrary, individual who lack self-efficacy and confidence will react to challenges with deepened anxiety that normally interrupts performance thus greatly reducing self-assurance and causing poor results. The most powerful strategy of increasing self-efficacy and confidence is making aggressive endeavors to control the environment. Triumphant endeavors at controlling the environment are attributable to strong self-efficacy and confidence for that sport or performance. Insights of failure at controlling the environment are associated with reduced self-efficacy and confidence. For whichever challenge, strategies to increase self-efficacy and confidence for prevailing over the problems and executing determination in particular difficult situations are fundamental to the triumph in sport.

Literature Review

            Self-efficacy and confidence and their impact on sport performance are among the vital subjects in sports psychology (Pineau et al., 2014). If people’s anticipations of capability for success and coping are pleasant, anxiety will be helpful, and when the anticipations are unpleasant, anxiety will be recognized as weakening. Three unlike aspects are established in competitive anxiety occurrence and they encompass cognitive anxiety, self-efficacy and confidence, and somatic anxiety (Besharat, 2009). Cognitive anxiety denotes the psychological constituent of anxiety and is resolved by unconstructive anticipations and cognitive interests concerning an individual, circumstance, and likely results (likelihood of failure). Somatic anxiety implies the physical constituent of anxiety and illustrates a person’s awareness of emotional reactions and unhelpful evaluation. Self-efficacy and confidence show a person’s conviction in the capacity to manage themselves and their surroundings. Studies have established the relationship between cognitive anxiety and performance to be negative, while the relationship between self-efficacy and confidence and performance to be positive (Besharat, 2009). For instance, research has disclosed that self-efficacy and confidence controlled the relations involving cognitive anxiety and emotional stimulation in some male golfers, which was established following real golf performance.

Self-efficacy and confidence, some of the major variables associated with sport performance, raise the perceived capacity to sentiment control and offers likelihood for sportsmen and sportswomen to manage negative feelings more successfully. Empirical studies have shown that in athletics, high degrees of self-efficacy and confidence are related to recognized functional capacity. Self-efficacy and confidence also control competitive anger signs, assist coping resources for handling anxiety, and leads to upholding and continuance of control in the course of the match (Pineau et al., 2014). Confidence prior to and during the match establishes lower state of competitive anxiety and normally connects with improved performance. Self-efficacy demonstrates a person’s conviction in his or her capability to carry out some conducts for acquiring desired results. Anchored in the establishments of socio-cognitive theory, people with high degrees of self-efficacy are less susceptible to severe psychological stimulation and more prone to adaptive coping with psychological stimulation when judged against people with lower degrees of self-efficacy.

According to the socio-cognitive theory, self-efficacy has been conceptualized as a general or international construct (Pineau et al., 2014). Nevertheless, empirical proof implies that a realm-specific formulation of self-efficacy ought to be mulled over. For instance, research on computer self-efficacy and internet self-efficacy disclosed considerable dissimilarities involving people with enhanced computer self-efficacy people with poor computer self-efficacy with respect to learning and using computer-associated proficiencies. Taking sport self-efficacy to denote the degree of self-assurance a person has in his or her ability to carry out some sport undertakings, it could have a dissimilar impact on the connection of competitive anxiety and sport performance when judged against general confidence.

One of the strategies for increasing self-efficacy and confidence for improved sport performance is imaginal strategy where individuals control self-efficacy and confidence through visualizing themselves acting successfully or unsuccessfully in hypothetical conditions. Such imaginations could be derived from actual or vicarious encounters with circumstances like the ones anticipated, or they could be induced by verbal persuasion, for instance, when a therapist directs a sportswoman or sportsman through imaginal involvements like an orderly desensitization and concealment molding. Nevertheless, just imagining excellence at sports does not have as powerful impact on self-efficacy and confidence as a real experience (Pajares & Urdan, 2006). Another strategy is physiological and psychological situations that control self-efficacy and confidence when people tend to attribute poor performance or failure to dissuasive physiological stimulation and victory to pleasant feelings.

The performance experiences strategy affirms that people’s endeavors at controlling their environment are very influential at increasing self-efficacy and confidence. Victorious endeavors at controlling the environment will boost self-efficacy and confidence leading to excellence in performance and vice versa. For the verbal persuasion strategy, self-efficacy and confidence are controlled by what other people say regarding what another can or cannot achieve (Besharat, 2011). The strength of this strategy in increasing self-efficacy and confidence will be swayed by other aspects like expertise, reliability, and reputation of the source, as evident in studies on verbal persuasion and mind-set alteration. The verbal persuasion strategy is not as successful in increasing self-efficacy and confidence as performance experiences.

While self-confidence is a relatively international and stable personal attribute, self-efficacy is a circumstance-particular kind of self-assurance that entails the evaluation of a person’s competence to carry out what requires being done in a particular condition. Self-efficacy and confidence are not interested with the ability of a person but with the opinions of what a person can achieve with proficiencies at hand. Self-efficacy and confidence are precise to a given time and environment and could oscillate significantly, for instance, a sculler could be strongly confident when about to row a heat at a regatta (Pineau et al., 2014). Nonetheless, due to occurrences of other scullers’ achievements, sentiments of being fatigued, and some hearsay under circulation concerning the competence of a different competitor, that sculler could feel less certain of the competition. Self-efficacy and confidence thus influences an individual’s opinion of her/his capabilities to effectively perform in a given sporting competition.

Sentiments of increased self-efficacy and confidence boost the period and force of attempts to the position of forfeiting or not taking part in any way in the threatening condition. This implies that when sportsmen or sportswomen encounter very intricate sporting challenges it is essential for them to have increased self-efficacy and confidence to generate an unremitting endeavor. The potency of the confidence of an athlete in his/her possible success will determine whether handling a given problem will even be tried (LaForge-MacKenzie & Sullivan, 2014a). Self-efficacy and confidence have an impact on a person’s effort and persistence regardless of intricate challenges, possibly dissuasive conditions, and occurrences with increased chances of failure. Knowledge concerning self-efficacy and confidence is processed by athletes and will have an impact on the association between future value evaluations and conduct. For instance, the potency of the outcomes, be it success or failure, will generate a different impact. Sportsmen or sportswomen who put a high unconstructive valence on failure are liable of being more distressed following a failure as compared to the ones who do not. People that recognize victory as having great degrees of enhancing potency will raise self-efficacy and confidence to a higher state that the ones who consider victory with evident and earnest humbleness.

The views of people concerning victorious performances differ greatly. Prior to presuming that victory is identifies as victory by a given athlete, it is vital to confirm that that presumption. It is evident that trainers and athletes identify the values of sport performance normally dissimilar instead of similar approaches. This variation leads to performance irregularities (LaForge-MacKenzie & Sullivan, 2014a). Self-efficacy and confidence are aspects that have to be mulled over while trying to have sportsmen and sportswomen attain the best preparedness conditions for a competition. Therefore, it turns out significant for trainers to pay attention to what sportspersons are articulating prior to sports competitions, in change-sections, and in the preparation section to establish their self-efficacy and confidence. For example, the kind of declared feelings, the proportionality between positive and negative anticipations, and the passion demonstrated by the athletes during preparations for an impending competition show suitable information for evaluating their condition of self-efficacy and confidence. In case high rates of self-efficacy and confidence are evident, the coach has no need of reacting. Nevertheless, if lack of self-efficacy and confidence are witnessed, the coach or trainer is supposed ought to act in response with a crisis managing practice.

The majority of studies on self-efficacy and confidence have centered on traditional kinds of psychopathology (LaForge-MacKenzie & Sullivan, 2014b). Nevertheless, such restricted concentration is an expression of the inclinations of the concerns of scholars rather than a postulation of self-efficacy theory. Social cognitive theory like the self-efficacy theory is interested less with comprehending pathology and interested with comprehending the positive aspects of psychological performance. They are as well interested less with risk aspects and protective features and concentrates on enablement facets, the personal abilities that permit individuals to choose and form their surroundings in approaches that set a triumphant track for their performance. Goals are fundamental to self-efficacy and confidence in that people choose to control their efforts, ideas, and feelings to attained desired results. After setting goals, people assume values alongside which to assess their improvement and gauge both their performance and capabilities.

Self-efficacy and confidence have a great impact on the set goals. The stronger the self-efficacy and confidence in a given sport, the higher will be the goals set by the sportspersons or teams (LaForge-MacKenzie & Sullivan, 2014b). Moreover self-efficacy and confidence influence selection of goal-anchored undertakings, determination in the countenance of challenges and hindrances, and responses to identified differences between goals and present performance. When sportspersons have strong self-efficacy and confidence, they will be relatively resistant to the interruptions that could bring about difficulties and deterrents, and they will not give up. Determination normally achieves desired outcomes, and this victory then boosts the sense of self-efficacy and confidence.


            Self-efficacy and confidence indicate the most prominent emotional conceptions believed to have a strong impact on sports performance. They are understood as the conviction one has in being capable of implementing a given activity victoriously with the purpose of attaining a desired result. Consistent with the social cognitive theory, people have firm cognitive and symbolizing abilities that allow the creation of internal patterns of practice, the development of novel strategies, the theoretical valuation of such strategies, via the anticipation of results, and the affirmation of complex conceptions and encounters to other people. The level of self-efficacy and confidence is managed by the responsiveness of surroundings, mainly social settings. Environs that are reactive to the attainments augment the increase of self-efficacy and confidence whereas non-reactive environs obstruct this advancement. Many strategies that increase self-efficacy and confidence have been discussed and they include verbal persuasion strategy. Self-efficacy and confidence, and their effect on sport performance are amid the central subjects in sports psychology. When sportspersons have powerful self-efficacy and confidence, they will be reasonably resistant to the interruptions that could cause complexity and deterrents, and they will not give up thus lead to excellence in sport performance.


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Besharat, M. (2011). Reliability and Validity of the Sport Self-Efficacy Scale. Tehran: University of Tehran.

Besharat, M., & Pourbohlool, S. (2011). Moderating Effects of Self-Confidence and Sport Self-Efficacy on the Relationship between Competitive Anxiety and Sport Performance. Psychology 2(7), 760-765.

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LaForge-MacKenzie, K., & Sullivan, P. (2014b). The relationship between self-efficacy and performance within a continuous educational gymnastics routine. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 12(3), 206-217.

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Pineau, T. R., Glass, C. R., Kaufman, K. A., & Bernal, D. R. (2014). Self-and team-efficacy beliefs of rowers and their relation to mindfulness and flow. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 8(2), 142-158.