Confidence is defined as a “belief in one’s ability”. It is a critical skill to master to enhance performance. It is crucial yet fragile. It can waiver day to day and requires constant nurturing. The ultimate goal of any athlete is not only to walk into a game confident but also to maintain this confidence level throughout a game. As an athlete, the more confidence you have, the more willing you are to take risks and the more you grow as a player.
To gain confidence you must:
- set some clear and attainable goals
- commit to your best possible preparation
- learn to always think and talk positively (self-talk)
- learn from your experiences, good or bad and build on these
Confidence is the opposite of doubt, indecision or hesitation. When your confidence waivers, and it will, you must refer back to your own examples of success. A great shift or a memorable game you had, a practice where you finally “mastered” that “one” move. It is all about reliving the moment to remind you that you have achieved success in the past and that you can do it again. It’s about believing in your abilities.
Confidence is also about making choices as to where to focus your attention. As an athlete you decide how hard you want to work at practice or at improving your fitness level. Your scheduled practice allows you time to work on improving your skills. But to improve, you must focus on what you are doing or else you will not progress as quickly as you would like and this could affect your confidence. Your work ethic goes a long way towards building your confidence.
Of the many sources of confidence some can sometimes become distractions. Make the distinction between what is under your control and what is not and focus on controlling the controllable.
Sources of confidence
- attitude/work ethic
- nutrition and hydration
- focusing at practice
- mental training
- positive self talk
- good warm up
- + add your own
- coaches’ decisions
- + add your own