How can I regain my confidence?

[Edited transcript below]

Why do athletes lose confidence (in cheerleading specifically)?

One of the biggest reasons athletes who were once confident lose it is because as athletes progress, the older you get, the higher level team you get to, the more skills that you achieve, the more aware you are that things need to move faster and you need to do more.

There’s just more expectation and more pressure the further that you go and the longer you’re in the sport. And so the sport itself, it feeds into this perfectionism. You have to do all your skills. You have to do them every time. 

I mean, think about when you’re learning a new stunt. If that stunt doesn’t hit within the first few times, the coach changes it or moves someone else. These athletes do not get an opportunity to develop skills anymore. And, it’s not fair, but it’s the nature of it.

It’s unfortunate. And so, more than ever, it’s so important for these kids and teens to be able to think in a healthy way so they don’t personalize it. But that’s what happens to confidence. 

“My coach took me out of the stunt, so I did something bad”, or “I’m not good enough to be in this tumbling pass, because my coach removed me.”

The actions of coaches and results happening around them are interpreted negatively as proof that they did something wrong or there is something wrong with them. That they are not good enough, which is not true. 

How do you regain confidence that has been lost?

One of the things to regaining confidence that takes a hit because of the actions or behavior of a coach is accepting that a coach’s job is to make decisions that are best for the team, which includes you, and to separate yourself from that.

Just because you’re not in a tumbling pass does not mean you’re bad. It does not mean you’re not a good tumbler, a good cheerleader, or a good person. There is so much value you bring to the team. 

If this is confidence related to a specific skill and you want to know how to develop that, one of the best ways is to notice the things you’re doing well, because our confidence takes a hit when we focus on the thing we’re not doing. 

“I should have this skill.” “I should be throwing this by myself.” “I should be able to do it because I used to do it. “”I have to get it because she has it.”

There’s so much pressure that goes into this, but if you just take a step back and realize, “Their talent has nothing to do with mine. Their position, that has nothing to do with mine.” “Why SHOULD I be able to do it because I used to do it?

I’ve had to relearn things in my past. I used to know how to crochet. If you gave me needles right now, I’d be like, I don’t know what to do with this. It’s confusing for athletes when you used to be able to do a skill or you used to be confident, and you’re not anymore.

Well, you’re more aware. There’s more things happening than before, when you were young and it was just fun and you were doing it for the love of the sport. You didn’t pay attention to what other people were doing. You didn’t care. Your coach wasn’t putting that pressure on you because you were newer.

What does perfectionism have to do with confidence and mental blocks?

Many athletes who develop mental blocks are more naturally gifted. They tend to move up very quickly, and a lot of it just has to do with that more perfectionist wiring. They like attention to detail. They like thinking about all the pieces and parts, which causes them to have excellent technique. It causes you to get skills. 

Something that is really challenging to hear if you have a mental block is “But your tumbling is so beautiful!” And it’s true. Their back handsprings are flawless, which is confusing for others when they’re not doing them. Perfectionism has it’s benefits like beautiful technique and tumbling but challenges like pressure and mental blocks. 

There’s this standard of my skills have to be perfect if they’re worth doing that gets adopted. And so it’s really taking a step back from that, from the goal being, I have to be perfect. Everything needs to be exactly like it used to be. Instead, give yourself grace. 

Like, you know more now than you used to. You’re aware of more things going on around you. The pressure and expectations are more than they used to be, and that can cause a challenge, like a mental block.

The solution to regaining confidence?

Take a step back, give yourself grace, break the skill into pieces, and focus on the good things you’re doing.

Showing up for practice when you don’t want to. Pulling out your air track and dusting it off, even if all you do is ten straight jumps or back walkovers. That’s okay. Appreciating your efforts and progress, because that’s what builds confidence. The more you see those little wins and the good things you do daily,  the more your confidence will improve.

That's it! Now it's your turn.

Decide right now one way that you will use what you learned in this training to try something new this week at practice. What did you learn in this training that stood out to you? What will you do differently at practice this week to apply what you learned? I would love to support you and offer you a little accountability, so share that with us in the comments below. 

If you liked this training and found it helpful, would you do me a favor? Please share it with a friend or two who could benefit from this message. Also, please comment below with your thoughts on this video. What did you like most? I will be personally engaging in the comments, so drop your biggest questions so I can get those answered for you. I would love the opportunity to hear from you and am so excited to connect.

Thanks again for being here. Would you like to be 1st to receive new content, trainings, and mental game tips delivered right to inbox? Then join my email list by clicking here

Until next time, remember that a mental block is simply a challenge you are working through. You are strong, can do hard things, and have totally got this!

Like this? Questions? Comment below!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *