Harter's (1979) perceived competence subscale was modified to specifically apply to soccer in order to compare young soccer players' general self-esteem, perceived physical competence, and perceived soccer competence scores in predicting players' actual soccer ability. Young soccer players (N = 217), 8 to 13 years of age, were tested on five soccer skill tests. Players also completed Harter's (1979) Perceived Competence Scale for Children and our perceived soccer competence subscale. We hypothesized that perceived soccer competence would have high internal consistency and would be a better predictor of soccer ability than either perceived physical competence or general self-esteem. Results indicated that the perceived soccer competence subscale had the highest internal consistency reliability coefficient, and that it was also slightly more predictive of soccer ability than perceived physical competence as indicated by multivariate multiple regression analysis and canonical correlation analysis. Future studies investigating perceived competence as a motivational variable in specific youth sports may find the sport-specific perceived competence measure to provide additional information to Harter's questionnaire.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Deborah L. Feltz, Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Ml 48824.