Sources of sports confidence and contextual factors among university athletes
Rintaugu, Elijah G.
Mwangi, Francis M.
Toriola, Abel L.
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Sport confidence is a critical mental attribute that influences sport performance. Research on sources of sport confidence among athletes is largely inconclusive. This study postulated that the sources of sport confidence among the athletes are not mediated by selected contextual demographic factors such as gender, level of study, type of sport and playing experience. A cross-sectional research design was used to examined the sources of sport confidence among randomly selected university athletes (n =183). Data were collected using the Sources of Sport Confidence Questionnaire as articulated in Vealey model, and the values converted into percentage of maximum possible scores. Among the highest rated sources of sport confidence were coaches’ leadership (63.31±17.22), vicarious experience (63.11±9.44), mastery (62.93±19.00) and demonstration of ability (61.60±17.54). Athletes differed significantly across gender in vicarious experience (p < .03), with males recording higher scores. Social support also yielded significant difference (p = .02) across year of study with finalists having lower scores. Mastery, physical and mental preparation, social support and vicarious experience showed significant difference (p < .01) in favour of those who had longer playing experience. Findings of the study have practical implications for student-athlete preparation for sport competition. Management of university sports should consider the implications of the diverse demographics in order to optimise sport confidence among student athletes