Social support and self-confidence in team players in collegiate sport.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The present study aimed to examine how the constructs of social support affect athletes’ self-confidence. Female participants (n= 9), ranging from ages 19 to 22 (M= 20.7 SD= ± 0.87), were interviewed using a semi-structured guide. The participants’ sports comprised of netball (n=3), hockey (n=3) and cricket (n=3). Using the same open-ended questions and probes, for all participants, allowed consistently detailed responses to be given (Patton, 2002) and promoted natural conversation. Content analysis was used to analyse the transcripts, where an inductive approach was based upon a deductive framework. Emergent themes suggest social support was a source of confidence, and also underpinned other sources identified in previous literature, such as mastery, demonstration of ability and physical preparation (Vealey et al., 1998). Received support, particularly informational and esteem, influenced confidence more than perceived available support, with providers playing an important role. These results suggest coaches and support providers should discover where athletes derive their confidence from and then become educated in how their support could foster such confidence. Future research should look to consider males and investigate the impact social support has of their self-confidence in comparison to females.
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