Self-efficacy is defined as an athlete’s confidence in their ability to perform successfully in their sport. Without confidence in their ability, an athlete is unlikely to be able to perform to the standard expected and reach their potential. Faced with a specific situation in their sport, self-efficacy will be high if the athlete believes he or she is able to control his or her emotions and perform to the standard they expect and their coach and commentators expect.
Winning and performing well increase an athlete’s self-efficacy whilst performing poorly or erratically and losing tend to reduce an athlete’s self-efficacy. Previous performance experiences have the strongest impact on whether an athlete feels confident about their ability to compete successfully, but self-efficacy can be also increased through coaching and training, positive feedback, and other mental skills training techniques such as positive self-talk, visualization, and relaxation.