Sports – at any level – is a game of confidence. When you have it, your skills shine. When confidence sinks, you don’t perform up to your capabilities. But confidence for many athletes is too fragile or fleeting in my opinion. Too many athletes allow their confidence to go up or down rapidly based upon immediate results and circumstances during competition. These athletes ride the confidence roller coaster. When they perform well, they feel good about their skills. When they perform poorly (or not up to expectations), their confidence can dip quickly.
I receive emails from athletes and parents everyday about how their confidence is shattered after just one bad play, shot or routine. If you (or your athletes) ride the confidence roller coaster, is that true confidence? Probably not….
I would argue that fragile self-confidence or letting results or circumstances dictate how confident you feel in the present moment IS NOT true confidence. Real self-confidence is stable, long-term, and lasting, even under adversity or poor results. True self-confidence is based on years and months of practice and competition. Is it fair to yourself as an athlete to throw away years of confidence-building when you mess up one play, race, or shot? I don’t think so.
But I’ve learned over the past 25 years as a mental coach that even the best athletes in the world, at times, can ride the confidence roller coaster…
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