Winning starts well before you step into the pen or onto the field. You need to believe you can achieve whatever it is that you set out to do. But where does that confidence come from?
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) are leading the way in Sport Psychology. Game changing research from the AIS is changing the way we approach peak performance preparation and more than ever there is an emphasis on building self-confidence.
The AIS offer the following tips on defining and building confidence as an athlete:
Self-confidence is the belief that you can successfully perform a desired task/behavior. Confident athletes believe in themselves and their ability to acquire the necessary skills and competencies (both physical and mental) to reach their potential. Self-belief motivates all performance.
Confidence in any activity comes from:
• knowing what to do
• knowing how to do it
• knowing when to do it
• having the resources and ability to do it
• when to do it
We lose confidence because we:
• start focusing on things other than our performance
• start focusing on things outside of our control (for example, the past, the future, other peoples’ performance, etc.)
• start focusing on outcomes, rather than the process
• become overly critical of ourselves and focus on the negatives, ignoring the positive aspects of our effort and performance.
We build confidence by:
• working hard at training
• practising good self-management
• rewarding ourselves when successful
• recording/logging our successes.
To enhance self-confidence you need to take responsibility for your successes and failures. It is important to remember that when you talk about success you mean performing to the best of your ability rather than winning. When you succeed you need to remember that it is because you are a good athlete and have worked hard, not because you are lucky. Similarly, when you fail to achieve your best you need to remember that there is probably a logical explanation and that you should talk it over with your coach. It is never because you are not good enough.