Posted 08/01/2019 in Category 1 by Life-in-Sport

Young Athlete Confidence

Young Athlete Confidence

Young athletes will experience times when they struggle with their confidence and it is low, they will also experience the opposite where confidence is high, and everything seems to be straightforward. With some effort and the right knowledge and support young athletes can take control of their confidence. This doesn’t mean that they will be full of confidence 100% of the time, but its presence can be increased. From this point forward remember that confidence can be improved!!

What happens when confidence is low?

A lack of confidence is often accompanied by feelings of worry, uncertainty, fear, doubt and/or anxiety. If young athletes are experiencing one or all of these, then they are unlikely to perform consistently well. These feelings are likely to have an impact on an athlete mentally and physically which can be detrimental to aspects of their performance like decision making and co-ordination. These performance issues may then prevent the young athlete from being the best they can be in their given environment (which may subsequently reduce their confidence further).

The importance of Confidence for Young Athletes

Self-efficacy theory states that self-confidence influences how people behave, think and emotionally respond in various situations (Bandura, 1997). Behaviourally, levels of confidence or self-efficacy influence young athlete’s motivation in terms of the choices they make, the effort they expend, the persistence they show in the face of difficulty, and the resilience they demonstrate in rebounding from failure. Chase (2001) found that 13-14-year-old athletes high in self-efficacy had stronger motivation to participate in sport in the future compared to low self-efficacy children. Perceived physical competence has been linked to positive emotions in youth sport such as feeling pride, satisfaction and enjoyment (Ebbeck and Weiss, 1998).


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