Building Rock Solid Sports Confidence
Ones’ confidence is always tied to a belief, a thought (or several), a feeling. And for a younger athlete these beliefs, thoughts and feelings can change as rapidly their next text or Facebook post.
For your athlete to build the kind of “rock solid” sports confidence you and they both want you and your athlete must first undertake the requisite education to understand the dynamics of confidence, make an honest assessment of where the athlete’s sports confidence level is now (and as I will share it could be high in a certain part of his/her game and low in another…adding to the complexity of the problem), learn specific strategies, tools and principles that will help erase low sports confidence and replace it with a Teflon shield that will allow your athlete to excel on game/match day under the harshest of circumstances…remaining cool, calm and collected!
But, again, the price for success is education. The goal is to change old patterns of behavior (many of which are subconsciously ingrained) and replace them with new thinking, new actions and, thus, new results!
No matter what the stakes are for the athlete and family involved if the sport and time spent playing the sport are not pleasurable for the athlete there is absolutely ZERO chance the athlete will ever possess peak sports confidence nor exhibit peak game/match performance levels.
For it is precisely the act of having fun that allows sports confidence to grow in a younger athlete. An athlete having fun playing the sport they, hopefully, love will exhibit heightened focus and effort levels inside a cocoon of relaxation and confidence. You see, confidence and competence are inexorably attached at the hip. You can’t have one without the other. They are the yin and yang of sports! Simply stated confidence builds competence and competence builds confidence.
But the question remains how to get your athlete in the optimal mental place where both confidence and competence can grow exponentially together allowing him or her to withstand the adversity their sport will throw at them?
As sports parents we always get to choose how we approach our athlete’s game and performance. And although it is totally normal to hope for and even expect our athlete and their team to do well we must maintain “big picture” thinking in order to keep the game fun for the athletes and ourselves. Your athlete’s sports confidence level depends on it!
Thanks for reading!
John Michael Kelly Sports