How to Build Stable Confidence 

Confidence on the field

What is Stable Confidence?

Does confidence change depending on the record or ability of your opponents? Some athletes only feel confident when they compete against weaker opponents and less confident against tougher competition…

Your confidence sinks when you become “wowed” by your opponent’s record, skills, or talent level. Focusing on your opponent takes the focus off your talents, preparation, and your game strategy.

When you concentrate on your strengths, preparation, and planning, you gain a sense of control and more stable confidence.

What is Stable Confidence?

Stable confidence is a belief in your skills that is resistant to significant highs and lows. Stable confidence remains relatively the same whether you win or lose. It does not vary when you make mistakes.

What Contributes to Stable Confidence?

*Growth Mindset – Athletes with stable confidence have a growth mindset. They believe they can get stronger, better, and mentally tougher through effort and focus. For that reason, they put in extra time and effort, leading to higher achievement.

*Present Moment Focus – Athletes with stable confidence stay in the here and now when competing. They don’t worry about past mistakes, losses, or future competitions and outcomes. These athletes do all they can in the present and pay attention to the minute aspects of performance.

*Dedicated Preparation – Preparation separates elite athletes from the rest of the pack. Working hard may not always be enjoyable, but it helps you to be ready to deal with competitive pressure and adversity. Preparation can minimizes stress.

Sense of Control – Athletes with stable confidence understand what they can and cannot control. Instead of wasting their energy on uncontrollable aspects of performance, they focus on their attitude, effort, actions, and reactions.

Focus on Process – Athletes with stable confidence still set and chase their goals. However, they realize to accomplish significant goals, they must focus on the steps that will lead to achieving their athletic objectives. In other words, they are not distracted by numbers such as wins, rankings, or scores.

The 2023 NFC Championship game pitted the Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) against the San Francisco 49ers (13-4), who finished the season with the best-rated defense and were on a 12-game winning streak. The winner would advance to the Super Bowl.

Before the game, Philadelphia center Jason Kelce described the team’s approach to the game…

KELCE: “The formula and everything are the same. You lock in during the week, you work hard, you practice hard, you work on your fundamentals and techniques, and you know, trust your coaching, and go out there and play.”

Philadelphia’s preparation and approach were the same for every game during the regular season. The team’s consistent preparation helped maintain their overall readiness and confidence even after losses, significant injuries, and a grueling season.

Stable confidence is a mindset based on years of experience in your sport…

Stable confidence comes from knowing you have put in years of training and competing in sports. When you do make mistakes, it’s easier to maintain a full tank of confidence.

Focus on the SELF in self-confidence. Confidence must come from within you! Don’t allow others’ expectations and chatter to dictate your confidence.

Related Sports Psychology Articles

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Relaxed Athlete

The Relaxed Athlete

You can possess all the physical talent in the world, the best equipment money can buy, and train harder or longer than anyone else in your sport or on your team, but if self-doubt enters your mind prior to competition, you simply will not realize your true potential in sports.

The Relaxed Athlete” audio and workbook program teaches you mental strategies to develop a focused and confident pregame routine for a poised and relaxed mindset. Learn how to get your mind right by overcoming pregame anxiety and worry.

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