Bandura (1997) defines self-efficacy as “beliefs in one’s capabilities to organise and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments” (p.3). As such, self-efficacy is a form of situational-specific self-confidence (Cox, 2002). According to Bandura's theory, people with high self-efficacy - that is, those who believe they can perform well - are more likely to view difficult tasks as something to be mastered rather than something to be avoided. Self-confidence in sport can be a key factor in producing a good performance. Gill and McAuley (1983) state that, athletes, coaches and spectators regard self-confidence as a necessary quality for successful sport performance. Most competitive sports place very high demands on athletes in terms of physical but also psychological performance. Athletes are called to withstand significant stress both during competition and daily training, all from the very young starting age which can be required by sports at a high level.
In order for self-efficacy to develop, the individual must believe that they are in control and that acts they perform are performed intentionally (Cox, 2002). Bandura (1997) proposes four fundamental elements effective in developing self-efficacy, figure 1.0 shows this. Successful performance is perhaps the most important factor deciding a person's self-efficacy. Simply put, success raises self-efficacy and failure lowers it, the athlete must experience success in order for self-efficacy to develop. Locke and Latham (1990) declare that self-efficacy, together with other factors such as ability and commitment towards a goal can positively influence performance. The other elements, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and emotional arousal all lead towards developing self-efficacy. The vicarious experience of success will provide a good foundation for the experience of success in a real situation and encouragement from the coach in the positive form can be helpful to help the...
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