Growing Confidence in Sports
Are you (or your athletes) overly self-critical of your game after losing or a poor performance? If so, you are not alone. Many athletes criticize their performance after a loss–and this is another confidence buster.
If you’re self-critical of your performance and dwell on shortcomings, how will you grow your confidence from competition to competition?
We know perfectionists, for example, tend to be very self-critical and scold themselves for mistakes. How many times after a game have you said, “If only I hadn’t missed those two easy shots, we might have won the game?”
Athletes who are committed to improvement, especially perfectionists, sabotage their confidence by being overly harsh about their performance. When assessing their own performance, these athletes:
- Focus on the mistakes they made
- Are self-critical of their performance
- Can’t remember the good plays or shots
- Disqualify any positives about their performance
- Can’t feel satisfied even when they do well because they never perform up to their high expectations
- Want to perform perfectly and view less than perfect as a failure
Let’s not forget parents… In their efforts to help their kids improve, they can instill a critical mindset: “John, how did you miss those easy passes?” a parent asks after the game.
Often parents are well meaning and want to help their athletes, but sometimes they focus on their athletes’ mistakes or shortcomings.
What can you or your athletes do to avoid this confidence buster? After all, you want to earn confidence with each performance, not tear it down.
Here are a few mental game strategies to consider:
(1) First, try to be objective about your performance (instead of subjective). When athletes are subjective, the emotions take over, such as frustration and anger, and that’s when you can be the most self-critical.
(2) Be your own best coach. How would you look at your game if you pretended to be the most positive coach you know? What are two positive things a coach might tell you about your performance that would make you feel satisfied or more confident about today’s game?
(3) Focus on your assets instead of mistakes. Ask yourself: What are two things you did well in today’s competition? Discuss these first with a teammate, parent, or coach. Avoiding dwelling on the plays, shots, or routines that got away from you.
(4) Focus on how to improve, not shortcomings. Instead of thinking about all the reasons you failed or messed up in today’s game, think about what you want to improve in next week’s practice. Feel confident knowing you’ll work to improve areas that will help you perform better in the next competition.
Do not derail your confidence–the confidence you have gained from years of practice and competition–with self-criticism and self-reproach after you compete.
If you enjoy my mental game tips, please forward this email to fellow athletes and coaches who would appreciate the gesture.
Your Confidence Coach,
Dr. Patrick Cohn
P.S. You can learn all my confidence-boosting tips via my popular “Confident Athlete” CD and workbook series.
Learn more here:
The top program we have for proactive confidence is:
Boost Your Self-Confidence With Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach, Dr. Patrick Cohn, can help you or your athlete(s), ages 12 and up, overcome mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our students saying?
“WOW!!! What a week I had. I was able to perform with a confidence that allowed my style to shine through–no more entering the arena with that “deer in the headlights” look or feeling. I stopped evaluating myself while I was performing, and I actually left the arena after my patterns feeling like I had experienced a lot of fun. Thank you so much.”
~Julia Dreyer, National Champion Equestrian
For All Athletes – Learn Confidence-Boosting Techniques!
D you have a negative self-image of yourself as an athlete that stifles confidence?
No matter ow positive you try to be, are you unable to shake the doubt that rushes into your head when you size up your competition?
Have you labeled yourself as a loser, poor closer, or mediocre athlete and these labels keep you stuck in a rut of self-pity and indecision?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, check out The Confident Athlete!
The Confident Athlete CD and workbook program is a 14-day plan for ultimate self-confidence. This program is ideal for any athlete or coach that wants to discover proven confidence-boosting techniques guaranteed to drastically build self-confidence and improve sports performance.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying?
“I first purchased The Confident Athlete to see how the program went and immediately saw results. I then purchased the rest of the confident athlete series and have noticed a dramatic improvement in my level of play or should I say consistency. I currently play NCAA Division 1 baseball for Lamar University, and even my coaches have noticed a change in the way that I approach the game. My attitude and confidence at the plate.”
~Tylor Prudhomme (Listen to his success story)
“I am a ASP world qualifying professional surfer and after beginning the ‘The Confident Athlete’ I had an almost instant change in attitude about my own surfing ability and my mindset going into competition. By using the Confident Athlete strategies, my confidence has done a complete 180 degrees. I won a local pro/am a few weeks back, and just had my best result of the year in one the last big events on the world circuit this last week in Brazil! It is my secret weapon!”
~Shaun Burrell, Professional Surfer (Listen to his success story)
For Young Athletes and Parents – Learn More About How to Help Kids Improve Confidence Quickly!
We’ve got a great program for you called “The Confident Sports Kid: A 7-Day Plan for Building Ultimate Self-Confidence.”
The Confident Sports Kid is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to boost young athlete’s performance, happiness and success… in sports and life!
The Confident Sports Kid is two programs in one. There’s a manual and CD for parents/coaches, and a workbook/CD for young athletes.
Packed with mental strategies that you and your kids can start using immediately, this program teaches your athletes how to identify confidence busters, proactively deal with them, manage expectations that undermine confidence, and mentally prepare to stay confident when faced with adversity.
What’s more, our program teaches you, as sports parents and coaches, how you may be hurting your kids’ confidence and gives you instructions for changing your behavior in ways that will improve your athletes’ performance, confidence and enjoyment.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Sports Kid Series…
What are parents and coaches saying about our program?
“I appreciate the advice to parents as to how to help your child become more mentally resilient to bullying in sports. The specific advice and scenarios are extremely helpful for any child on a team and very helpful in guiding parents, coaches and administrators in how to deal with bullying in sports. I cannot thank you enough for your input, and I am so reassured to know that there are people like you who are writing articles and doing interviews on such timely and important matters.”
“Dr. Patrick Cohn and Lisa Cohn are to be congratulated! Together, they offer a wealth of knowledge, information, and practical mental tools for sports parents on the substantial “mental game” challenges and pressures facing today’s young athletes.”
~Marc D. Anderson, LCSW, MGCP, Mental Game Coach
For Mental Coaches – Add More Value To Your Mental Training Programs!
This workbook series was designed for coaches and mental coaches to use with their athletes.
The Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks complement your existing mental training program. Each of the 15 workbooks in the Athlete’s Mental Edge System teaches your athletes a specific mental skill to improve their performance.
For mental coaches, this system is ideal for between session education.
For sports coaches, you’ll be able to conduct 15 team seminars using the workbook system.
In the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbook system, you receive 15 easy-to-read, practical Mental Edge Workbooks on PDF, as well as 16 coaches’ game plan MP3 audio files.
What are coaches saying?
“I am really pleased with the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks – they are fitting in really well with my coaching! I find they offer a great framework for doing workshop sessions. I have also used the workbooks with a few individual athletes – for the younger ones (12 and under). They are giving a good structure and framework to our sessions. The workbooks have worked well with all of them!”
~Kerri Morgan, Mental Game Coach
“I am impressed with the willingness and openness of Dr. Cohn to share all of his assets (intellectual, products, etc.) with the MGCP students. You have developed an incredible model/package for mental training. Even though we are paying for your service, you are passing on a legacy built on your contribution to the world of sports. Thank you for that.”
~Tony Melito, MGCP