The Role of Sport Confidence, Imagery Use and Social Support on Performance in Adolescent Athletes

Diego Grasel Barbosa *, Thais Silva Beltrame *, Sara Teresinha Corazza **, Diego Augusto Santos Silva ***, Andreia Pelegrini * and √Črico Pereira Gomes Felden *

(*) Center of Physical Activity and Health Research. Department of Physical Education Santa Catarina State University (UDESC), Florianópolis, Brazil
(**) Department of Sports Methods and Techniques, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Brazil
(***) Physical Education Department, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil

Citation

Grasel Barbosa, D., Silva Beltrame, T., Teresinha Corazza, S., Augusto Santos Silva, D., Pelegrini, A., Pereira Gomes Felden, √. (2023). The Role of Sport Confidence, Imagery Use and Social Support on Performance in Adolescent Athletes. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 54(3), 269-285. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2023.54.269

Abstract

The aims of this study were to assess the relationship between sport confidence and competitive performance, determine whether imagery has a mediating influence on the relationship, and explore the potential mediating role of sport confidence between confidence sources and sport performance. 519 adolescent athletes aged 14 to 19 years responded to sport confidence, social support, sport imagery and subjective social status instruments. For the analysis of mediation and estimation of the effects between the variables, structural equation modelling was performed. Through structural equation modelling were verified significant direct effects between sport confidence and social support (β=-0.45; p 0.001), age (β=-0.12; p=0.021), sport experience (β=-0.22; p<0.001), performance (β=-0.26; p<0.001), subjective social status (β=-0.49; p<0.001) and sport imagery (β=-0.64; p<0.001). Sport performance suffered significant direct effects from imagery (β=0.18; p=0.013) and sport experience (β=-0.24; p<0.001). Furthermore, it was verified sport imagery mediating influence on the relationship between sport confidence and athletes’ performance (β=-0.115; p=0.002) and sport confidence mediating influence on the relationship between social support (β=-0.07; p<0.05) and sport experience (β=-0.031; p<0.05) with performance. We conclude that the proposed model can be useful in explaining the role of sport confidence for performance in sports.

Keywords: Athletic performance, Confidence, Social support, imagery, Ado- lescen