Signs of a confident Athlete.
You may have wondered what it really means to be a confident athlete and although the topic of confidence is often discussed in the sporting world it is also often misunderstood. Confidence is such an important part of success and how often have you heard the words “be confident” or “winners are confident”. Confidence plays a big part in how you perform and can be considered as one of the most important aspects to success in sport. The difference between a winning team or player and a losing team or player can be down to how confident they are in their belief to be successful. Yes, talent and preparation is important, but when all is equal the stronger mind will succeed.
What does it really mean to be confident?
Confidence can described as:
… a feeling, belief or knowing that one can rely on someone or something…
… the quality of being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people…
… a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something…
There are many other attempts at defining what confidence really is and maybe it would rather be of interest to look at what the signs of a confident athlete is.
Confidence leaves a trail.
It is self-belief that gets everything going. Confident athletes have a strong belief that they can achieve their goals, regardless of obstacles and challenges that will come their way. They know that succeeding at anything will take focus and perseverance when the going gets tough to. They have a very strong reason “Why” they pursue a specific goal.
“What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.” – Wayne Dyer
Have a Positive self-Talk – Confident athletes have a positive inner voice and know how to interrupt, dismiss and replace any negative self-Talk the moment it happens.
“When things are at their worst, your self-talk must be positive, encouraging, and empowering.”
Their focus is on what they can do. It is important to understand that they have ultimate goals, but their focus remains in the moment on the process of what they can do.
“Concentrate on showing your brain exactly what it is that you want to achieve, never dwell on what you do not want to happen.” Gonzalez
Imagine winning – Confident athletes make use of imagery to show their minds how they want to perform. They see it, feel it and act it. That’s right, confident athletes, not only see their performance, but that they actually feel themselves succeeding, over and over again. Imagery is more than simply “seeing” a performance, it involves using all of the senses (see, hear, touch, smell and even taste) to create a sensory rich imagined experience.
"My creative mind is my greatest weapon. It is a kind of inner vision that enables me to see things that others might not, …” Tiger Woods
Focus on mastering, rather than worrying. Confident athletes are more focused on what they can control and do. Even when everything seems impossible, there is always something to do. Confident athletes are willing to master their skill, despite risking failure at first, knowing that failing is how you get there.
“Champions focus on what they can control. They know that while they can’t always control what takes place during an event, they can always control how they respond to an event. Within every setback lies the hidden opportunity for a great comeback.” Gonzalez
What does all of this mean?
In short this means that your thinking affects your feelings and in turn your feelings will impact on what you do and how you take action. Therefore when you become aware of your thoughts, you can choose to interrupt, dismiss and replace these thoughts to align with what you want to accomplish.
3 Step exercise:
- Think back to a situation where you were really confident and you achieved your outcome? Ask yourself; what was going through your mind and how did you feel and act?
- Then think back to a situation where you were not so confident and you did not achieve your outcome? Ask yourself; what was going through your mind and how did you feel and act?
- Compare the step 1 and 2 and you will become aware of the difference and what you can improve on.
Article compiled by Bennie Louw the Sport Mind Coach
Training Your Mind for Sports Performance – Providing training for coaches, managers, parents, high level performers and keen amateurs who wish to learn the techniques to improve their mental approach to sport.
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There is nothing more frustrating for athletes than to have all this ability and talent and not to be able to access it when they need it the most.