Date of Graduation

Summer 2023


Master of Science in Athletic Training



Committee Chair

Rebecca Woodard


Self-efficacy is a person’s belief in their ability to successfully complete a task, which can be derived from four sources of information (i.e., past performance, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states). The role of self-efficacy in sporting performance is well documented as being positively associated with enhanced performance across multiple levels of sport (e.g., Olympic, collegiate athletes). Specifically, with collegiate athletes, high levels of reported self-efficacy have resulted in higher performance accomplishments. Although self-efficacy has been researched within sports, there is a dearth of knowledge examining ethnic minority athletes’ perceptions of self-efficacy related to their athletic performance. The aim of this study was to explore the role of self-efficacy in ethnic minority (e.g., non-Caucasian) student-athletes’ athletic performance. Using a phenomenological research design, semi-structured interviews were conducted with six ethnic minority endurance sport student-athletes. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using qualitative data analysis software. The four main sources of self-efficacy were identified as four significant themes, along with coaching and mental toughness. Subsequent subthemes of concentration, mental skills, anxiety, flow/the zone, individual athlete vs team sport athlete, achieving success, role model, positive emotions, injury, self-negativity, mindfulness, sense of belonging, feedback and positive influence, were established. Results suggested that ethnic minority student-athletes rely on the four main sources of self-efficacy, along with their relationship with their coach and their levels of mental toughness to produce increased sporting performance. Understanding the role these factors can have in aiding sporting performance should be considered for ethnic minority student-athletes.


qualitative, past performance, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, physiological states, coaching, mental toughness

Subject Categories

Gender and Sexuality | Kinesiology | Psychology | Race and Ethnicity | Social Justice | Sports Studies


© Tomas A. Singhgolden

Open Access