The main focus of the intervention in Sport Coaching is obviously based on the athlete’s performance and motivation. In this case, the Coach can assist both the staff and the athletes (in an individual and/or a group relationship) in order to face the competition and/or the athletic feat in the best possible way.
Working on positive mental attitudes is fundamentally importantIn Sport Coaching, since the best qualitative expression of potentialities and an improvement of self-efficacy can only be obtained in ideal conditions.
The objective of “surpassing oneself” and improving the performance is obviously preceded by the correct determination of goals and by a work on motivation that can “activate” the athlete in the right direction.
Self-efficacy is defined as the belief that people have in their own capacities of ideating and concretising the necessary strategies of action in order to obtain a determined performance, that is, the conviction that people have over their own capacities to produce those actions required to manage situations properly, so that they can achieve their prefixed and desired objectives/results.
In other words, self-efficacy is the inner belief of keeping up with a certain action (or an athletic act) and of being able to take a stab at a certain activity.
Within the athlete, Self Efficacy influences and encourages both the use and the maintenance of virtuous attitudes, since it is considered to be able to strongly condition the conduct and the attitudes that we decide to undertake.
Moreover, self-efficacy can condition both quantitatively and qualitatively the commitment and the will to persevere in spite of obstacles, adversities and constraints.
(… do all these things remind you of anything about motiv-ation?)
Humans tend to undertake an activity only if they consider it within the limits of their capacities. So, on the other hand, situations perceived as impossible to face will be avoided.
Bandura supposed that self-efficacy consists of 4 factors:
According to the Self-Efficacy Theory, the better you manage to highlight every factor, the bigger the effect on the performance(!!!).
The achievement of performances
The achievement of a positive performance is considered to represent a particularly important source of efficacy, as success increases the athlete’s sense of safety.
So, the enhancement of the athlete’s efforts until he feels a sense of mastery is a critical element in order to improve self-efficacy and grant the continuity of positive long-term performances.
Tip: With the help of a good Coach, learn not to take little things for granted… everyday little victories, little successes during trainings and friendly matches, in exercises… use the word “Nice!”, be able to say “Great, I really liked you today”… be honest.
The vicarious experience
It involves the evaluation of the probability of success through confrontation with other peoples’ efforts. The goal is to present results “within range”, in order to be elaborate positive and achievable previsions.
Tip: learn from your Coach how to have a healthy challenging attitude: do not propose “models”, don’t make people feel as “wastes” from the model. That is a motivation for the “field of the youth club”
Verbal persuasion calls on the subject logic. If you manage to convince the athlete of the possibility to successfully bring to completion an arranged plan of action, trust and future expectations will increase, hand in hand.
Tip: learn to be motivating and resonant Coaches… avoid “jolly old bird-like” attitudes, aware that verbal persuasion (that is, convincing someone) without any foundation doesn’t work… rather it risks weakening the whole process of reinforcement and Self Efficacy.
Physiological states refer to physical sensations of anxiety and tension associated to the fear of not being able to act correctly. It is important that customers associate their experience to a pleasant state of safety: the control on pleasant states will reinforce the sense of control of the sport feat.
Tip: a good Coach will be able to teach the athlete simple techniques of relaxing and controlling of his own physical states that are not very pleasant, reinforcing the sense of control and the property of the sport feat.
Self Efficacy Theory provides a rich cue, both conceptual and methodological, upon which we can work and have experiences.
CEO and founder of Prometeo Coaching Society. He is considered a veteran of Italian Coaching. He has been a teacher and a lecturer in seminars about coaching, efficient communication, motivation and leadership for over fifteen years. He is the Education Manager of the Coaching School. Author of Migliora la tua Vita! Manuale di Self Coaching (FrancoAngeli ed.). He has trained hundreds of Coaches all around the world, led by an incredible passion for the development of human potential. Among his customers, he boasts the presence of main companies, professional athletes, show business figures and… lots of common people who wish to grow and improve.