Mahoney, M. J., & Avener, M. (1977). Psychology of the elite athlete: An exploratory study. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1, 135-141.

Finalists in the 1976 US Men's Olympic Team gymnastic trials served as Ss. Those who reported experiencing occasional doubts about their abilities tended to do poorly during the qualifying meet. Among the 12 finalists, actual performance was moderately correlated (r = .57) with pre-meet self-confidence [possibly self-efficacy].

Implication. Predicting, and possibly justifying, that an athlete will do well in an impending competition is one of several major determinants of competition success. Such beliefs should not be idle, but firmly established in facts and in particular, improved training performances in close proximity to the competition.

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