Tag Archive for 'Locus Of Causality'

Attributions in sport

In a previous post, I blogged about identify the orientation you have regarding your sports performance. Because of your predominant orientation, you’ll create attributions differently and therefore KNOWING that attributions are will help you become more self-aware as an athlete so you can more easily and quickly realign your training for improved results.

Attributions are best understood within the framework of self-efficacy. Self efficacy is a judgment about one’s capability to perform a particular task (1) at an elevated level, (2) with certainty, and (3) repeatedly over time. It means much more than just being confident, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Where self-efficacy explains the transition from expectation to effort, attributions re-direct the focus to the causes of expectancy beliefs, that is, HOW success and failure affect continue motivation.

With this in mind, there are three critical characteristics that underlie attributions:

  1. Locus of causality. Perceiving an outcome to have resulted from either internal or external factors. Can you see how your orientation can affect this?
  2. Stability. Perceiving the likelihood of the same outcome recurring.
  3. Locus of control. The perception of whether an outcome can be manipulated. Once again, your orientation will sneak in here!

Let’s look at some examples and be honest with yourself… Where do your attributions lie?

Locus of causality.

  • Internal: Your effort or an injury
  • External: Field conditions, Equipment, referee, judge


  • Stable. Your talent and ability.
  • Unstable. Weather, luck.

Locus Of Control.

  • Controllable (Internal). Your game plan, pre-game preparation.
  • Uncontrollable (External). Opponent’s actions, referee, judge, field conditions.

From this summary explanation, you can see there are many dimensions or what I call distinctions to dice and slice the Mindset Of A Champion. The more precise you can be about WHY you do stuff, the better you can be at FIXING the errors and mistakes.

More importantly, if you can change, alter or improve your mental model and motivations, the physical manifestations will follow with a lot LESS EFFORT.

That is why the Mindset Of A Champion is the one defensible advantage that you can count on. Talent won’t be enough. There is always someone out there with more talent – but very few with the mindset to beat you and win.

So, the question for today is – where do your attributions lie? The more honest you are, the better your results will be.

Remember, this is a completely confidential process – ONLY you know (and of course your coach or other champions who can see right through you!)

That’s the power of this psychological stuff – once you know it, it becomes your weapon, like an X-RAY machine that reveals all.

Fun stuff isn’t it?