I want to tell you about a client of mine named Sam. Sam is a 10-year-old baseball player who was extremely talented for his age, but every game he walked away feeling like he never performed good enough. He felt pressure from thinking that he let his team down every time he made a mistake. No matter how many private lessons and special coaching sessions he received, he struggled with confidence and doubted his abilities.
The worst part was that he was starting to question if it was worth it to continue playing his sports because he was letting the pressure from not living up to what he and everyone expected of him steal away the joy of the game. And then we met…
We started working together on his mental game skills and began breaking down the fears and false beliefs that were holding him back. He began to understand how his mindset was affecting his performance, and saw a massive transformation in himself. He began to let go of the pressures of not living up to the expectations of others. He has learned to let go of perfectionism and see his performances as opportunities.
My absolute favorite thing is that he no longer leaves games disappointed, feeling like he is not good enough. He is confident and believes in himself and that has made all the difference.
This is why I do what I do.
If Sam’s story resonated with you, I am so glad you are here because in this post, I am going to cover what confidence is and how it contributes to success as an athlete, how to overcome the pressure of expectations from others and create self-confidence, as well as ways to assess performance so energy and motivation remain high.
1. What is confidence and how does it contribute to success as an athlete?
Take a minute and think of a confident athlete you know… How would you describe them? What do they look like? How do they enter the gym? How do they leave practice?
A confident athlete is someone who has a strong belief in their ability to be successful. They are calm, cool and composed in competition through the good times and bad. They walk into competition with their head high, shoulders back, and a look that says, “I know what I am here to do and nothing is going to get in the way of that.” They have established self-confidence that is consistent every single day and does not change, no matter what. This is the kind of confidence I teach my athletes to develop.
The reason I want this type of self-confidence for you is because it puts you in control. I do not want you to leave your confidence in the hands of things outside of our control like winning, peers or coaches, but instead want you to have confidence that no one can take from you because you will experience a loss at a competition, a hurtful comment about your performance, and a mad or disappointed coach at some point. You want to focus on what you can control and let go of what you cannot. With this approach, you can be excited to show up, work hard, and do your best instead of wondering if you will leave disappointed.
2. How to overcome the pressure of expectations from others and create self-confidence.
The value you place on the statements of others has a lot to do with how you value yourself. Have you ever allowed the thoughts and feelings of others to become more important than how you feel about yourself and your performance? Our insecurities and high expectations cause us to feel like we are falling short of what we SHOULD be accomplishing and so we assume others feel the same way. Understanding this is powerful because it allows you to take a step back, discover what is ACTUALLY TRUE, and release the pressure so you can build confidence and create momentum to move forward.
The key is taking time to understand who you are at your core. Once you can identify who you are, take pride in that. As your self-esteem grows, the value you place on the opinion of others diminishes which will allow you the freedom and space to focus on what you do best. Players who know who they are and play in alignment with that always succeed.
3. How to assess performance so energy and motivation remain high
Today’s standard of acceptable has become perfect which is what athletes judge their performance against. It is no wonder there are more and more athletes burning out and quitting from competing with the status quo. If your child leaves games and competition frustrated, feeling like they are a failure, they need to reconsider their standard.
Confidence is not how many mistakes or points you did or didn’t score, it is a BELIEF in yourself. This does not change overnight so assess your performance in a way that will help strengthen your belief by focusing on what you are doing well and effort. Do not dwell on what went wrong but instead ask what you could have done better and make a plan to improve. This will allow you to process your performance in a helpful way that encourages growth and builds confidence.
Now that you know how to build unshakable confidence, you can show up at your very next practice with a game plan, ready to experience success. Just like strengthening your physical skills, improving your mental game skills like confidence and focus takes time, but all you need is a little practice. If you are ready to take your performance to the next level but just need a coach to show you the way, I am here, ready to support you. Sign-up for a no-cost, 30-minute Performance Check coaching session by clicking here. Space is limited so reserve yours today!
The content is great but real change happens in the application. The most important thing I do for my clients is to keep them accountable for applying their mental game skills every practice and game. I offer them support so they never have to stay stuck.
I am here to support you. A performance check coaching session is a great way for me to learn more about where you are and your goals and to identify any gaps. I am only able to work with a limited number of clients at a time to be most effective so If you are interested in learning more, make sure you reserve your spot today. Sign up now by clicking here.