COMPETITIVE LEVEL AND GENDER EFFECTS ON THE SOURCES OF SPORT CONFIDENCE
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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This study investigated competitive level and gender effects on the different sources of sport confidence in order to direct applied practice for developing athlete confidence. A sample of male (N=18) and female (N=22) athletes from either an elite (N=20) or non-elite (N=20) competitive level completed the Sources of Sport Confidence Questionnaire (SSCQ) (Vealey et al., 1998). They were asked to refer to a time when they felt most confident when answering the SSCQ. A two factor (competitive level x gender) multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed no significant interactions, but highlighted both competitive level and gender main effects. Competitive level main effects indicated that the importance placed upon mastery (p<.01) and environmental comfort (p<.05) sources of sport confidence were significantly higher for non-elite athletes, whereas demonstration of ability (p<.00) and mental and physical preparation (p<.00) sources of confidence were significantly higher for elite athletes. Gender main effects indicated that the importance placed upon vicarious experience (p<.01) and mental and physical preparation (p<.03) sources of confidence were significantly higher for male athletes than female athletes. These findings highlight that differences exist between athletes of different competitive levels and genders, which suggests that models and interventions designed to enhance confidence for athletes from one particular competitive level or gender may not be effective at enhancing confidence for all athletes. Therefore, practitioners should take an ideographic approach to developing athlete confidence.
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