How To Help Athletes Who’s Confidence Wavers in Competition

Wavering Confidence in Competition

Developing Stable Confidence in Sports

Do you or your athletes succumb to the big moments in competition? Does all your hard-earned confidence (from practice) evaporate when you go into competition?

If this sounds like you or athletes you coach, fragile confidence is a common theme for many people who contact us at Peak Performance Sports.

What is fragile confidence?

Fragile confidence is when your confidence rapidly shifts from day to day or even moment-to-moment depending on how you are performing.

The same can be said for athletes who feel more confident in their practice, but then lose confidence when they step into competition. They have high practice confidence, but low competitive confidence.

Here’s an example from Michael, a collegiate athlete, who loses confidence in big competitions:

“My whole life I’ve been regarded as having an excellent physical game, but in the big moments, a lot of the time I come up short mentally. I struggle with confidence in big tournaments. I use breathing techniques, visualization, and self-talk to try and consistently bring out the best in my game. But more often than not I see myself succumb to the pressure of big moments. What changes can I make to my mental outlook to increase my confidence in these situations?”

First, why would you have high confidence in practice and the very next day confidence evaporates when you step into competition? It’s not clear until you look closely at your entire mental game.

Here are the top reasons athletes lose confidence in competition…

You might:

  • Doubt your ability or training
  • Are intimidated by the competition
  • Have a past history of choking in big events
  • Have a fear of failure and the tension chokes you
  • Worrying too much about disappointing others
  • Attempt to perform perfectly in competition

In Michael’s case: The use techniques, such as breathing and visualization, are only Band-Aids. They do not address the real issues… The real culprit are about other mental game factors, such as intimidation or fear of failure.

Therefore, it’s important to look are your entire mental game. What are the top confidence killers that undermine your confidence when you go from practice to competition?

4 Tips to help you or your athletes develop more stable confidence:

1. Have a long-term mindset about confidence. How many years of experience do you have in your sport–5, 10, or more years? That’s how long you have been working on your confidence. Don’t allow one day or mistakes to rock  your confidence.

2. Fear of failure is the biggest issue for athletes who lose confidence in competition. When you are tense and afraid to play your game, performance suffers, and it then feels like you have less confidence. Ask yourself: What’s the biggest fear I have about competition that makes me hold back or be tense?

3. Focus on your talents instead of the strengths of the competition. When you put others on a pedestal–thinking they are better than you–you risk feeling less confident. Remind yourself of your own talents and strengths as an athlete.

4. Let go of trying harder or being more perfect. Both mindsets lead you to more tension, being overly serious, and lack of trust in your skills. During big moments, many athletes make the mistake or trying too hard to win. Very few athletes can be “gamers” and raise their performance in competition compared to practice.

When you understand how you undermine confidence in competition, you are much closer to developing stable self-confidence.

If you enjoy reading my mental game tips, please forward this blog post to others athletes, coaches, or parents who would appreciate it.

The fastest way to improve your mental game is by meeting with me one-on-one to learn important mental strategies for your situation. Read more:

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The Confident Athlete

The Confident Athlete Audio

“The Confident Athlete” consists of 2 audio programs that include 14 days of confidence fueling exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through the 14 days, helps you apply the strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal needs.

Let me help you put a stop to the confidence leak. You can learn to have greater levels of confidence in competition than you do in practice by identifying the specific ways you undermine your own confidence and how to convert your practice confidence into COMPETITIVE CONFIDENCE.

“The Confident Athlete” is a ground-breaking system to teach you how to think like a champion and have ultimate self-confidence every time you step on the playing field, court, track, or course. The confident athletes was developed for any athlete – junior to professional –that wants to gain confidence. However, coaches and sports parents can learn how to teach others to perform with ultimate confidence. Use my program if you want to bust a slump or just wanting higher or more consistent levels of self-confidence.

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