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Psych session of the week: Some ways to boost your confidence on the field

Monday, 29th September 2008

Categories Boy's/Men's, Girl's/Women's  
 

By Pete Bendig
Iron Psych Works, Inc.
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 9/29/08

In this session, we will discuss confidence and how to boost your confidence. This is one of my favorite topics to discuss and is one of Iron Psych Works’ most requested seminar each year.

We recently performed this seminar for a group of real estate agents. Different arena…same topic…same results!

What is Confidence?

Confidence is a generalized expectancy for successful outcomes (Grove & Heard, 1997). It is the belief within an individual to accomplish their goals or to succeed.

Confidence is also the certainty that an individual retains about there own potential, ability to overcome difficulties and the focus of their pursuit (Orlick, 2000).

Confidence is what separates good performers from great performers and it is a skill that athletes can learn to control (Moore, 1998).

What are the Qualities of a Confident Athlete?

Many athletes who possess higher levels of confidence also have higher levels of many other characteristics. The specific qualities that athletes possess may include higher levels of self-esteem; commitment, positive thinking/images, focus, goal setting, mental preparation, distraction control and enhanced coping strategies.

A confident athlete learns to refocus after making mistakes, manage their performance mistakes, and are able focus on the task at hand (Moore, 1998).

What are the Tools Needed to Become Confident?

There are necessary tools that individuals need to become a confident athlete. These tools are free will, self-awareness, and imagination.
Free will is an individual’s ability to act independently of all other influences. This is beneficial to athletes because it will allow them to focus on the task at hand and not respond to stressful situations
Self-awareness provides athletes the ability to analyze their behavior. This will help athletes by being conscious of effective and ineffective behaviors within their performance and training practices. Imagination helps enhance an athlete’s mindset toward and about their performance.
Confidence is an approach to thinking. Confidence takes place from within the athlete and not from external conditions (coaches, pre-competition warm-up, teammates, etc). Since confidence is internal, as opposed to being external, athletes must learn to trust their instincts.

Athletes must choose to be positive despite errors within their performance. Being positive is a choice that requires commitment and self-control (Thompson, Vernacchia, & Moore, 1998).

Can Confidence Be Developed?

Confidence can be developed within an athlete. There are numerous steps to follow that will help an athlete refine and/or develop their confidence level. First, an athlete must be prepared. Imagine not being prepared for a speech that is in front of a big audience.

Secondly, an athlete must choose to be positive. If you think positive, good things will follow. If someone asks “how I am doing,” I always respond, “Great!” Even if I am not great, I try to think positive for my own well-being. Thirdly, Athletes must trust their acquired skills.

References

Orlick, T. (2002). In pursuit of excellence. IL: Human Kinetics.

Thompson, M., Vernacchia, R., & Moore, W. (1998). Applied sport psychology: An educational approach. IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Ungerleider, S. (1996). Mental training for peak performance. PA: Rodale Press Inc.


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