CONFIDENCE DEBILITATING FACTORS IDENTIFIED BY FEMALE FOOTBALL PLAYERS: A COMPARISON OF INTERNATIONAL AND CLUB LEVEL PLAYERS.
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The present study aimed to indentify confidence debilitating factors cited by female international (n = 8) and club level (n = 8) football players aged between 18 and 24 (m = 20.2). A qualitative approach was conducted In line with Hays, Thomas, Butt and Maynard’s (2010) research; each player completed a pre-interview booklet, an interview and a confidence profile. This allowed for the emergence of fourteen confidence debilitating factors, regardless of demographic and organisational factors. Loss of confidence was attributed to quality of opposition, social support issues, perceived evaluation from others, poor preparation, poor performance, injury, experience, athlete specific factors, reduced tactical awareness, ability, coach, pressure and expectations, reduced feelings of environmental comfort and selection. It was evident that the majority of factors affecting confidence levels were associated with the sources identified by the athlete. Although there were some differences amongst the results between the international and club level players, commonalities were evident. For example, both groups identified poor performance and poor preparation as detrimental to confidence levels. The results indicated that interventions should aim to increase the amount of stable sources available to the athlete to minimise the manifestation of confidence debilitating factors. Whilst this study aimed to identify confidence debilitating factors, there was no temporal aspect involved. This could warrant future research to investigate how confidence debilitating factors change prior to or during competition.
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