How Did Andrew MacDonald Rebuild His Confidence?
Every athlete, in every sport and at every level, experiences a confidence crossroads.
Whether it is being benched, being cut from a team, going through a slump or suffering a devastating loss, all of these defining moments can tear down an athlete’s confidence.
If you find yourself in this position currently, welcome to the club. The club is filled with athletes who are faced with some crossroad.
You can decide to continue down the path of low confidence, poor performance and feeling miserable… or you can decide to take a different road.
Make no mistake about it – the different road is not an easy downhill ride to supreme, eternal confidence.
Making the choice to improve your sport confidence requires effort and vigilance.
If you really think about it, you are not ultimately choosing to take a different path as much as you are committing to a more gratifying destination.
The problem with many athletes is they experience a bump in the road but they wallow in so much self-defeating negative emotion that they lose the emotional energy and motivation to make a positive change.
Low confidence will remain low and lead to further poor play if you never do something about it.
That is why the mental game skill of confidence is so important for all athletes.
In fact, confidence is the number one reason that athletes seek out help from sport psychologists and mental game coaches.
Like it was previously stated, all athletes experience “confidence crossroad” moments…
Take for instance Philadelphia Flyer veteran defense-man Andrew MacDonald who signed a six-year $30-million contract prior to the 2013 season.
MacDonald played so poorly at the start of the 2015 season, that not only did he lose ice time, he was demoted to the AHL Lehigh Valley Phantoms for 43 games.
Despite the humiliation of going back to the minors, MacDonald remained determined to earn his job back. MacDonald focused on building his confidence and was rewarded when the Flyers called him back to help the team on their late rush to the playoffs.
MacDONALD: “I think I just had a bit more confidence with the puck. Down there [with the AHL Phantoms], I think I was just able to reset things and get back to the way I’m capable of playing.”
MacDonald gives us a great pearl of wisdom when it comes to confidence.
MacDonald was able to differentiate between a stint where his play was not up to his standards and what his true capabilities are as a hockey player.
This differentiation helped MacDonald put things into perspective and work to regain his confidence.
MacDONALD: “It’s just a situation where I had to put it all behind me. I know what I’m capable of, what level of play I’m capable of. Clearly, my first year, that wasn’t me and my game.”
MacDonald learned something valuable about confidence… If you work for confidence, confidence will work for you.
Try this tip to overcome your confidence crisis:
When playing below your normal standard of play, you need to take time to determine the actual culprit.
Ask yourself, “Did I lose my ability or did I lose my confidence?” Or, “Do I need to improve my commitment to training?”
If your sub-par play is due to lower confidence, then boosting your confidence will get you back on track and playing to your potential.
To boost your confidence, check out or mental game coaching programs for serious athletes ages 12 and older.
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