Factors that contribute to building confidence as an athlete

Confidence is one of the most important mental skills. The reason for this is that it impacts all the rest. If you don’t have the proper confidence it can impact focus by making you have more negative self talk which is distracting and can make you more focused on your own thoughts than the game being played. If you are not confident you might not have the motivation you need or be able to do good visualization as you don’t believe you can do the things you are trying to picture in your mind. No matter the mental skill, they generally fall back on confidence. Confidence is really knowing that we can handle what comes our way, not usually knowing what that might be. To trust and believe that we have the skills, knowledge and talent to deal with does come, and if not to learn from it, and be better for the future.

For this post I want to break down building confidence into 4 different pillars.

1.Belief: Things that help improve belief are things such as affirmations, positive statements, and mantras. We need to believe that things will work out and that we as person are enough without the results and accomplishments. That we get to make mistakes and are still worthy human beings.

2. Trust: When looking at trust I like to use the work of Brené Brown and the acronym BRAVING. Which stands for Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non judgement and Generosity. These words break down trust into more manageable and concrete aspects that allows someone to know exactly which part of self trust they may need to work on.

3. Preparation: Knowing you are prepared for something is very powerful when it comes to confidence. Knowing you have a plan in place and know how to execute it, will provide a sense of control and calm that is very important. When working with athletes I often go through a series of what if.. questions and then help them make a plan, so that they know what they will do if something doesn’t go according to plan, because it rarely does. This way they feel more comfortable knowing they have plans in place and in the moment their brain will have a go to plan to implement rather than their brain trying to create it in the moment which doesn’t always work out well.

4. Know yourself: It is important to know who you are outside of the things you do. Most athletes do something called identity foreclosure. Where they only see themselves as a high performing athlete and can get greatly impacted negatively by not knowing who they are when they don’t get the results they hoped. Creating an identity away from sports, is a great way to have more confidence within your sport and not get so impacted when results don’t turn out the way you wanted, as they too rarely do.

For more information or learn how we can help you with your confidence please reach out. Contact us