Confidence is a belief in one’s own ability and positively influences skill acquisition. Confidence grows with success, so successful skill execution will in turn increase confidence making the athlete learn new skills faster. It is important for coaches to provide opportunities for success early on in order to grow the athletes belief in their ability to do the skill well.
Previous experience will also affect an athlete’s belief in themselves. If the athlete has completed similar skills well before, they will have a greater belief that they will master the new skill as well. This means that the coach should progress skill learning moving from easy to harder skills. Faster success in the easier skill will increase confidence and result in faster acquisition of the new harder skill.
Conversely, if skills are not learnt and frequent failure occurs, belief levels will decrease and the rate and level of skill acquisition will decrease with it. Also, over confidence results in poor skill acquisition, as the athlete believes that they are better than they are and begin to try new harder skills before they are ready to do so. It can also lead to the skill never being perfected and so the athlete never moves into the mastery autonomous stage of skill acquisition.