The role of confidence in world class sport performance.

HAYS, Kate. (2007). The role of confidence in world class sport performance. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This thesis provided a detailed examination of the role of sport confidence in World Class sport performance. More specifically, the sources and types of sport confidence utilised by World Class sport performers were identified, and mechanisms underlying confidence effects in this elite subgroup were explored. These findings led to the development of an applied measure of sport confidence which was validated in a practical setting, and used to provide the foundation for a cognitive-behavioural intervention designed to enhance sport confidence. Studies one and two adopted a qualitative approach utilising semi-structured interviews. Study three adopted a more idiographic approach where confidence profiling was used as the primary means of data collection, and reflective narratives were undertaken to report the findings. Finally, study four utilised a case-study approach. The purpose of study one was to identify the sources and types of sport confidence salient to athletes competing on the World Class stage. Results indicated that the most prevalent sources of confidence utilised by these athletes were preparation, performance accomplishments, and coaching. However, gender variations were evident within these confidence sources. Several types of confidence were also identified, providing evidence for the multidimensional nature of sport confidence. Again, gender variations were evident within the types of sport confidence identified.The purpose of study two was to examine the role of sport confidence in World Class sport performance. In accordance with previous research, high sport confidence was found to be synonymous with positive affect, effective competition behaviours and the efficient use of cognitive resources, resulting in successful competition performance. Furthermore, the results uncovered gender differences in both competitive orientation and the factors responsible for debilitating sport confidence. Considered in the context of previous research, the results of studies one and two highlighted the need for an applied measure to assess and monitor athletes sport confidence and factors related to their sport confidence, regardless of their age, gender, sport level or sport type. Consequently, study three described the reflections of three sport psychology consultants who successfully adapted performance profiling to sport confidence specifically. Further evidence was also provided to support the multidimensional nature of sport confidence and the recommendation that types of sport confidence might be viewed as evidence based beliefs grounded in an athlete's sources of sport confidence. The final study adopted a case study approach in which confidence profiling was used as the foundation for the successful delivery of a sport psychology service, adapted from the eight-step cognitive-behavioural consultation model (Murphy & Murphy, 1992). In this study confidence profiling was used to accurately assess the sport confidence of an elite female swimmer, provide the foundation for an athlete-centred intervention designed to enhance the athlete's sport confidence, and monitor any changes in the athlete's confidence as a result of the intervention. Evaluation of the intervention showed that with one exception, the athlete had increased her confidence levels across all types of her sport confidence. In summary, the findings of this thesis have both theoretical and practical implications. From a theoretical perspective, the findings emphasise the multidimensional nature of sport confidence, and the importance of utilising a sport-specific framework to aid future research. From a practical perspective, this thesis highlights the importance of adopting an individualised approach to the assessment of athletes' sport confidence, and developing athlete driven interventions to meet their specific confidence needs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2007.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:23
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:23
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20696

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