The psychological Olympian

By Caroline Heaney, Open University
Originally Published: Thursday, 26 January 2012

Self-confidence has a very important part to play in successful sports performance. People who have a high level of self-confidence or self-belief in their ability to perform well in a particular task are much more likely to do so than people who have low levels of self-belief. But where does this confidence come from? According to the psychologist Albert Bandura our level of self-confidence in a particular situation is influenced by factors such as our previous experiences, role models, feedback from others and our interpretation of any feelings of nervousness. Therefore in sport if an athlete has performed well in training and competition in the lead up to an event, has seen role models similar to themselves perform well, has received encouragement from important people around them (such as a coach) and is able to cope with the pressure of an impending important event they are likely to have high levels of self-confidence and perform well… Click here to read on

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