D.O.I: Young Researchers Club, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kurdistan, Iran 2

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1 The Relationship between Self-Confidence and Sport Commitment with the Sport Identity of the Gymnasts... D.O.I: Bahareh Nazari 1, Sardar Mohammadi 2, Mozafar Yektayar 3 1 Young Researchers Club, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kurdistan, Iran 2 Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran 3 Department of Sport Science, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kurdistan, Iran Abstract In order to determine the relationship between self-confidence and sport commitment with the sport identity of the gymnasts of the premier league and the Iranian national team, a correlation study was done in which 120 gymnasts of the teams of premier league and members of the national team were selected randomly. The measurement tools were the standard questionnaires of sport self-confidence of Vealey (1986), sport commitment of Scanlan (1993), and sport identity of Cieslak (2004). In order to determine the face and content validity (experts ideas), structure validity (factor and confirmatory analysis) and the reliability of the questionnaires, Cronbach's Alpha (á = 0.825, 0.872, 0.821) was calculated. A group of exerts approved the face and content validity of the questionnaires. In order to analyze the data, descriptive and illative statistical methods (multiple regression correlation test, multivariable regression) were used. Findings showed that there is a positive significant relationship between self-confidence and sport identity (r = 0.665) and between sport commitment and sport identity (r = 0.628). Results of the regression, further, showed that self-confidence (r = 0.671) and sport commitment (r = 0.562) were the predictors of sport identity. Key Words: Identity. Sport Self-Confidence, Sport Commitment, Sport

2 6 SMIJ VOL. 9, Number 2, 2013 Identity of a man includes his goals, values, interests, and expressions. Moreover, identities are inner self-expectations that are mingled with social communication networks (Struler & Serpe, 1982). Sport identity is defined as a domain for the communication of a person with the role of an athlete; moreover, sport identity for a person who identifies his identity with a sport role is like a level of power and exclusiveness which commits him to the sport activities (Brewer, Van Raalte & Linder, 1993). To get off the lists, injuries, or ending a professional career are of the cases which can cause problems for the so called sport identity. For instance, a unique and strong sport identity can be considered as a factor causing emotional disorders for the athletes who has reached the end of their professional life. It is because these people have less interest in exploring other careers or roles. According to Anderson, athletes who have had a long professional career have higher levels of sport identity. From the experimental perspectives, sport identity, health and physical benefits, involving in physical activities and trainings (Wilson, 2000), increase social connections and self-confidence (Petipas, 1978). A strong sport identity increases the commitments of the athletes to participating in sport activities, therefore self-confidence and sport commitment influences the sport identity of athletes. Self-confidence is a key variable in association with sport administration (Woodman & Hardy, 2003). Findings of a study show that most athletes demonstrate a constant challenge of self confidence when they face the pressure of competitions. That is why we can say that the sport self-confidence is the most important factor affecting the sport performance. While athletes are privy of the significance of self-confidence, some of them do not have the skill to control this crucial mental feature. They see these features in other athletes but not themselves. Coaches realize that athletes need self-confidence to win. Psychologists believe that those people who have low self-confidence can never make significant breakthroughs. Researchers have defined sport self-confidence as the belief of the athlete in the capability towards achieving success (Feltz & Chase, 1998). Identification of the influential mental factors on the sport performance and success of athletes are of great importance. Researchers have shown claimed that athletes with more self-confidence enjoy higher levels of performance and that the sport self-confidence is higher in the athletes compared to nonathletes (Dowlat, Bahram & Farrokhi, 2007). It seems, however, that factors like experience, training quality, and getting assistance from the experienced coaches and psychologists can have considerable influence on the reduction of the negative behaviors and lack of concentration as a result of a due match. Findings also show that the level of experience and skills of the athletes can be improved if they improve their level of self-confidence (Shaji, 2010). Studies conducted in Iran on the sources of sport self-confidence are very few. Shojaeddin and Shafizadeh (Shojaeddin & Shafizadeh, 2004) failed to find a

3 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SPORT COMMITMENT... 7 significant connection between sources of sport self-confidence and the performance of the elite and non-elite adult athletes in individual and group sports and the sources of sport self-confidence were not predictors of their performance level. Vealey attempted to make practical the concept of sport self-confidence by introducing a conceptual model of sport self-confidence and a questionnaire designed to identify the sources of sport self-confidence. Furthermore, commitment is one of the influential factors in the sport identity of athletes and according to Becker commitment is a word for describing people s tendencies in the direction of certain behaviors (Becker, 1966). Sport commitment is defined as demonstration of a mental structure for continuing the sport activities (Scanlan, 1993) in a way that this commitment is estimated by the sport enjoyment, challenges, and the deterrent forces that people face after competitions (personal investments, social pressures, and challenge opportunities). With regards to the fact that having information about the condition of the sport self confidence of gymnasts of the national team and the premier league as well as the relationship of these two on sport identity can bring about awareness of athletes and coaches about the current situation, the present study aims to find this relationship. Therefore, findings of this study can have positive effects in the minds of athletes and gymnastics coaches in terms of recognizing this relationship and its effects and also improve the potentials of athletes and coaches and provide useful feedback for the coaches of the country s gymnastics coach in their career. Methodology The present study is a description of correlation. The statistical population includes 271 gymnasts of the national team and 252 gymnasts of the premier league (N = 523). Using a random sampling and according to Korji and Morgan s table 60 gymnasts of the national team and 60 gymnasts of the premier league were selected. Instruments of the measurement of research variables were: 1. Questionnaire of the self-confidence of et al. (1986) 2. Sport commitment questionnaire (Scanlan, 1993) 3. Sport identity questionnaire (Cieslak, 2004). In order to determine the face and content validity, experts ideas were used and to achieve reliability exploring factor and confirmatory analysis were used. Results of the exploring factor analysis with Varimax Rotation for scales of sport identity (df = 72, P = 0.001, KB = 3.52, KMO = 0.932), Sport commitment (DF = 81, P = 0.001, KB = 4.12, KMO = 0.926), Sport self-confidence (df = 68, P = 0.001, KB = 2.95, KMO = 0.912) were significant. Values of the confirmatory factor analysis were obtained for scales of sport self-confidence (P = 0.000, df = 2, KMO = AGFI=0.912), sport commitment (P = 0.000, df = 2, AGFI = 0.922) and sport identity (P = 0.000, df = 3, AGFI = 0.971). in order to

4 8 SMIJ VOL. 9, Number 2, 2013 determine the reliability Cronbach s Alpha was used that the results for the questionnaires were as follows: sport self-confidence: á = 0.825, sport commitment: á = and sport identity: á = In order to organize the data, descriptive statistics were used. In the illative statistics, exploring factor and confirmatory analysis were used. In order to examine the structural validity multiple correlation was used. Multivariable regression was used to examine the relationship among variables of self-confidence, sport commitment with sport identity. Determination of the share of each predictor variable (sport self-confidence and sport commitment) in the prediction of the independent variable (sport identity) was conducted by LISREL software version 8.57 and SPSS version 20. Findings Table 1 shows the individual features of the responders. Findings showed that there is a relationship between self-confidence and sport identity of the gymnasts of the premier league and the Iranian national team (Table 2). Table 1. The Descriptive Statistics of Individual Features of the Responders. Population Gender Age [M 6 SD] Experience in Experience in National Team Club Teams [M 6 SD] [M 6 SD] gymnast of Gender Number Percentage national team Male and the premier Female league Table 2. Mean, SD, and Correlation Matrix related to self-confidence and its subscales with sport identity. Variables X 6 Sd Sport Identity X 6 Sd R P self-confidence adjectival state sport

5 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SPORT COMMITMENT... 9 Results obtained from multiple regression test with the method of inserting variables of self-confidence simultaneously for the prediction of sport identity can significantly anticipate the so called sport identity. As can be seen findings for the subscales are as follows; Adjectival self-confidence (F = 27/32, P = 0.001, r 2 = 0.431), the subscale of state self-confidence (F = 138/5, P = 0.000, r 2 = 0.606) and the subscale of sport self-confidence (F = 62/3, P = 0/001, r 2 = 0.533). Table 3. Statistic Identifiers, Level and Direction of the Influence of the Factors of Sport Self-Confidence on Sport Identity. Predicting Variables B Beta Coefficient t P sport adjectival state á < 0.05 Findings showed that there is a relationship between sport commitment and sport identity of the gymnasts of the premier league and the national team (Table 4). Table 4. Mean, SD, and the correlation matrix related to the sport commitment and its subscales with sport identity. Factors of sport participation commitment X 6 Sd Sport Identity X 6 Sd R P Commitment Enjoying the sport Frequency of participation Personal investments Social limitations Participation opportunities Results obtained from multiple regression test with the method of inserting variables of self-confidence simultaneously for the prediction of sport identity can significantly anticipate the so called sport identity. As can be seen findings for the subscales are as follows; Adjectival self-confidence (F = P = 0.001, r 2 = 0.436), the subscale of state self-confidence

6 10 SMIJ VOL. 9, Number 2, 2013 (F = 40.29, P = 0.000, r 2 = 0.780), and the subscale of sport self-confidence (F = 42.95, P = 0.000, r 2 = 0.731) (Table 5). Table 5. Statistic Identifiers, Level and Direction of the Influence of the Factors of Sport Self-Confidence on Sport Identity. Predicting Variables B Beta Coefficient t P sport adjectival state á < 0.05 Results obtained from multiple regression test with the method of inserting variables of self-confidence simultaneously for the prediction of sport identity can significantly anticipate the sport identity. As can be seen findings for the subscales are as follows; Adjectival self-confidence (F = 29.42, P = 0.001, r 2 = 0.431), the subscale of state self-confidence (F = 20.52, P = 0.000, r 2 = 0.562), and the subscale of sport self-confidence (F = 41.30, P = 0.000, r 2 = 0.436) (Table 5). Table 6. Mean, SD, and the correlation matrix related to the sport commitment and its subscales with sport identity. Predicting Variables B Beta Coefficient t P Commitment Enjoying the sport Frequency of participation Personal investments Social limitations Participation opportunities á < 0.05 Discussion and Conclusion Findings showed that there is a positive significant relationship between selfconfidence and sport identity of the gymnasts of the premier league and the national team of Iran. These findings are consistent with the results of Vealey

7 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SPORT COMMITMENT (1998) because they showed that external sources have a predicting role over lower levels of adjectival sport self-confidence of athletes. According to the conceptual model of Vealey, sport self-confidence is in association with performance (Vealy, 1998). Moreover, this study is consistent with Bandura, Feltz & Chase s study (2009) because they showed that the desirable position in sport self-confidence of athletes is an important factor. They concluded that the previous performance of a person is the most reliable source of information about self-sufficiency or self-confidence (Bandura, 1986; Feltz & Lirgg, 2009). Findings also showed that there is a positive significant relationship between sport commitment and sport identity of gymnasts of the premier league and the national team of Iran. It can also be admitted that these findings are in consistency with the findings of Kshvl and Mayrs (2007) who investigated issues like sport identity, sport commitment, time in sport, social supports and life satisfaction in student athletes which showed statistical discrepancies among statistical samples in the variables under study. They found that life satisfaction has a significant role in athletes sport identity and commitment and the more the satisfaction increases the more commitment will grow (Erin Reifsteck, 2011). The other result of this research indicates that self-confidence and sport commitment are predictors of sport commitment in gymnasts of the premier league and the national team. It became clear that 43% of variance of the sport identity variable is determined by sport commitment factors and 57% of variance of sport identity variable is determined by self-confidence factors. In substantiation of this hypothesis we can say that findings of this study were consistent with the study of Dowlat Abadi (2007). They showed that the source of the optimal condition in all three levels were predictors of the performance level of female gymnasts. They also showed that social supports in elementary levels and physical self-exposure plus the leading behavior of the coaches in elementary levels were the predicting sources of the performance of female gymnasts. They found that higher self-confidence can improve the performance level of the athletes, however, it is important to notice that the samples were not the same (Dowlat Abadi et. al., 1007). Findings of Astyvchn (2010) in substantiation of the previous research showed significant discrepancies in athletes sport identity and also depicted the association of sport commitment with the level of sport activities. They also found that higher sport commitment can lead to higher identity in people (Stevens, 2010). In general, we can say that sport self-confidence and sport commitment have a significant relationship with sport identity of gymnasts of the premier league and the Iranian national team. With regards to the role of sport commitment in sport identity we conclude that there is a significant relationship between sport commitment of gymnasts and their sport identity. Self-confidence and sport commitment can be predictors of sport identity in gymnasts. Therefore, it is suggested that sport counselors should teach athletes and students the principles of self-confidence, sport identity and sport commitment to help people who have problems in this respect.

8 12 SMIJ VOL. 9, Number 2, 2013 References Adegbesan, O.A., (2010). Analysis of Imagery Use as Predictors of Football Players' Sport Confidence. World Journal of Sport Sciences, 3(1): Bandura, A., (1986). Social Foundations of Thought and Action: Identifying Influential Data and Source of Colinearity, New york: Wiley Becker, H.S., (1966). Notes on the concept of commitment. American Journal of Sociology, 66, Brewer, B.W., Van Raalte, J.L. & Linder, D.E., (1993). Athletic identity Hercules' muscles or Achilles heel? International Journal of Sport Psychology, 24, Dowlat Abadi, L., Bahram, A. & Farrokhi, A., (2007). Predicting sources of sport self-confidence in the performance level of female gymnasts. Olympic, Fall 2007, No. 39. pp Erin J., Reifsteck, (2011). The relationship between athletic identity and physical activity levels after retirement from collegiate sports. Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Feltz, D.L. & Chase, M.A., (1998). The measurement of self-efficacy and confidence in sport, in J. Duara (Ed.). Advancements in sport and exercise psychology measurement, pp , Morgantown Feltz, D.L. & Lirgg C.D., (2009). Perceived Team and Player Efficacy in Hockey. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. Tayolor & Francis Publishers. Vol, 83. pp Petipas, A.J., (1978). Identity foreclosure. A unique challenge Personnel and Guidance Journal, 56, Scanlan, T.K., Carpenter, P.J., Schmidt, G.W., Simons, J.P. & Keeler, B., (1993). An introduction to the Sport Commitment Model. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 15(1), 1-14 Shaji, R., (2010). Comparison of the sport identity of the handball players of the Iranian national team. Quarterly of Research in Sport Sciences, No. 26, Spring, p. 1 Shojaeddin, S. & Shafizadeh, M., (2004). Comparison of the sources of sport self-confidence among elite and non-elite athletes and its relation with sport performance. Research proposal, Faculty of physical education and sport sciences, Tarbiat Moallem University Stevens, (2010). Elementary pre-service teachers' knowledge and beliefs regarding science and mathematics. School Science and Mathematics, 96, 29 Stryker, S., Serpe, R., (1982). "Commitment, Identity Salience and Role Behavior: Theory and Research Example", in W. Ickes & E.S. Knowles (Eds.). Personality, roles, and social behavior. New York: Springer-Verlag. pp

9 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SPORT COMMITMENT Vealey, R.S., Hayashi, S.W., Garner-Holman, M. & Gicobbi, P., (1998). Source of Sport-Confidence: Conceptualization and Instrument Development. Journal of Sport Exercise Psychology. Human kinetics Publishers, Inc. Vol. 20(1), pp Wilson, J., (2000). "Volunteering annual review of sociology". Vol. 26, pp Woodman, T. & Hardy, L., (2003). The relative impact of cognitive anxiety: and self-con?dence upon sports performance A meta-analysis. Journal of Sports Sciences, 21, Address for correspondence: Sardar Mohammadi, PhD University of Kurdistan Postal Code, Sanandaj, Iran

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