Sports Confidence-Killer 1: High Expectations

Managing High Expectations

How to Improve Your Confidence

In any sport, confidence is the #1 mental game skill that helps you (or your athletes) succeed.

How you prepare before competition, react to mistakes, cope with adversity, and internalize others comments, can make or break your confidence.

And if you’re a coach or parent, you play a critical role in helping your athletes’ improve confidence in sports.

In this new 12-part sports confidence series, you’ll learn the top 6 confidence-killers for athletes and the top 6 strategies to boost confidence based on my 20 plus years helping athletes improve their mental game.

What is self-confidence?

Self-confidence is how strongly an athlete believes in his or her ability to execute any skill or task.

Why is confidence so crucial to your success?

Well, without a high level of confidence, you (or your athletes) simply can’t perform at your best or perform with consistency.

  • Confidence helps you play without fear or anxiety.
  • Confidence helps you let go of mistakes quicker.
  • Confidence helps you to stay calm and composed.
  • Confidence allows you take risks and perform assertively instead of tentatively.
  • Confidence helps you trust in your skills.
  • With high confidence, your overall mental game is better.

A lack of confidence leads to tentative, defensive, afraid-to-take-risks performances.

How do most coaches help athletes improve confidence?

Athletes practice, drill, work out, and take instruction from coaches. Drilling and instruction are necessary to gain competence, which leads to confidence.

But is this where confidence-building stops? Should athletes simply practice more or take additional coaching to gain confidence?

No! This is just the start of building a strong base of confidence.

What about the mental game? The mental game is very important to helping athletes improve confidence and keep it.

You can improve your confidence in two main areas:

  1. Learn how to overcome the confidence-killers that destroy confidence
  2. Learn how to be proactive with confidence.

Many athletes do not consider the first step above. But overcoming the confidence killers is half the battle in helping you keep and grow confidence.

Confidence Killer #1: Strict Expectations

Athletes who maintain very high expectations (demands) easily lose confidence when they don’t perform up to their expectations.

For example, some athletes expect to perform perfectly or make no mistakes. Here are a few other examples:

  • A baseball player thinks he should go four-for-four at-bat in a baseball game
  • A volleyball player thinks she has to play as well as her teammates in every game
  • A hockey player thinks he must score two goals every game
  • A golfer thinks he should shoot no higher than 75

What’s the problem with high expectations or self-imposed demands?

First, they lead to judgmental thinking. Second, if you don’t perform up to your self-imposed expectations, it’s easy to question yourself and confidence drops quickly.

Don’t confuse expectations with goals. Goals are desirable. You want to set lofty goals for yourself or your team. You strive to achieve goals… Unlike expectations, you don’t HAVE TO achieve your goals.

Unlike goals, expectations become a MUST HAVE situation for athletes. You reach them or you don’t.

Related Sports Psychology Articles

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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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