Revisiting the Self-Confidence and Sport Performance Relationship: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis


Self-confidence is a common research topic, and most applied textbooks include interventions designed to enhance athlete confidence. Our purpose was to quantify the self-confidence and sport performance literature using meta-analytic techniques. We also examined potential risk of bias indicators, and the moderation effects of study quality, sport characteristics, timing of confidence measurement, and individual differences among participants. Following a review of two past meta-analyses, a systematic search of APA PsycArticles, ERIC, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, PsychINFO, and SPORTDiscus within the EBSCOhost platform, and some hand searching, 41 articles published between 1986 and 2020 met the inclusion criteria. Collectively, the included studies investigated 3711 athletes from 15 countries across 24 sports. The overall random effects estimate of the relationship (expressed as r) between self-confidence and performance was 0.25 (95% CI 0.19, 0.30), with little evidence of publication bias. The summed total risk of the individual study bias score did not moderate the confidence–performance relationship, whereas significant moderator effects emerged for individual sports (0.29) compared with team sports (0.14), objective (0.29) compared to subjective (0.14) performance measures, and 100% male (0.35) compared to 100% female (0.07) samples. In conclusion, the confidence–performance relationship is small in magnitude, nearly free of bias, and moderated by sport type, performance objectivity, and athlete sex.


© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. cc-by


competitive sport, CSAI-2, quantitative review, state confidence, trait confidence


Lochbaum, M., Sherburn, M., Sisneros, C., Cooper, S., Lane, A.M., & Terry, P.C.. 2022. Revisiting the Self-Confidence and Sport Performance Relationship: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(11).