We recently examined the Sport Confidence Inventory in class and through administration to clients.  The scale/assessment requires the participant to rate their confidence (or prompted related construct) to that of the most confident athlete they know/ can think of.  After taking the assessment, as well as feedback from my client, this was a helpful tool, having to compare yourself to where you see the optimal performance level being.  My partner and I discussed why we liked this scaling, and developing an optimal level of performance (confidence) and allowing then the athlete to determine where they are.  However, the next week in class, it was noted that many did not like this aspect of the assessment.  It was believed to be inaccurate, if a young athlete was thinking about a professional athlete, and will that effect the way in which they rate themselves, as opposed to one of their more confident teammates.  It was also brought up that it distracted from the assessment, having the participant compare themselves to a “fictional” representation of some elite, benchmark setting persona of an athlete.

I have been searching for rationale as to why my partner and I (who both played and coached softball in college) held one opinion, and that the majority of our classmates (none of which who played softball in college) felt it was not as useful of a tool as it could be.  Then it hit me! It may be dependent on our competition setting/training background.  Softball and baseball alike are particularly mental games, and possibly the reasoning that one develops after being in the sport for so long, the methodology and process of thought, is more responsive to particular assessment strategies.  I will be interested to see in the future, how I compare in opinion as the usefulness of sport assessments, and if it could perhaps be due to the nature of sport that I was raised in.  This could be something to consider highly in particular sports, that the culture and nature of the sport would not best fit particular assessments, merely due to the way in which the athlete is rating themselves.