Confidence. The one thing that all athletes and coaches want to bottle up and give whenever needed. “The belief in your ability to perform.” Something like that is how the definition goes…right???

Sometimes you would think you have confidence but all you really have is bravado – a pretentious belief in your ability to perform.

Some athletes believe that you need this type of confidence to be courageous enough to perform. But in “mental training land”(this is not an actual geographical place), we would ask the question, “What happens if your performance isn’t what you believed it to be? Does your confidence drop?”

For most athletes the answer is YES! Why? For one reason. Most athletes attach the outcome of winning to their perception of confidence. They believe they are going to win! Good thought, but this is not good confidence, because the outcome is out of your control. And as the outcome goes so goes your confidence.

But there is one thing that I believe, if you apply it, will have you keep your confidence and give you a great chance to win as well. It is in a different perspective of the definition for confidence.

My definition: Confidence is the belief in my mental ability to perform through all obstacles including, if it happens, losing.

Do you see the shift inward. I’m allowing my skill practice to give me what I need to perform physically but my confidence lies in my ability to allow the new habits I practiced to continually improve and progress in the face of all things.

My confidence lies in my ability to fix and build performance in real time.

It is because of this definition that I believe that practitioners like sport psychology consultants are so important to any sports program. We give the tools and understandings to bring that confidence to life!

Here’s one thing you can apply now to get you on your way:

1) Honest performance awareness
Because of the natural view of confidence people are afraid to admit that their performance isn’t good enough. So even in the face of poor performances or skill work they would still proclaim their greatness and refuse to work hard at improving! No need to improve what is already great!

These type of athletes are still struggling with the thought that they can, at any time, not be good enough. Having honest awareness of your performance and humbling your perception of it is the first step for you becoming really great in whatever sport you play.

What other things can you come up with to help keep confidence?
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