Athletes have long recognized a relationship between
confidence and performance. Sometimes it appears that only
the greatest athletes have access to that magical confidence,
while all other inferior beings can only wish for it.
this is wrong! Everyone can increase their level of confidence
and perform better.
Although confidence is difficult to define, it is usually
described as thoughts, feelings and actions reflecting
self-belief and expectations of success.
Confident athletes entertain a rich variety of successful
thoughts. The notion of failure simply never occurs during
Confident athletes believe deeply in their abilities, love
challenges, and feel strongly that they will prevail.
Confident athletes expect success and show it in their body
language. They rarely give their opponent a confidence boost by
appearing discouraged or threatened.
It is often asked what comes first, confidence or success?
Although it is true that success breeds confidence, it is equally
so that confidence increases one's probability for success. Success
is never certain, but self-doubt, negativity, and low expectations
Belief in oneself prevents harmful distractions such as anxiety,
allowing for a more efficient performance focus. Confidence also
security during slumps and helps the athlete sustain effort.
Finally, self-belief prompts athletes to set higher performance goals,
greater achievements are expected and appear more attainable.
Athletes who lack confidence worry needlessly about mistakes,
lose concentration, allow dangerous levels of arousal to intrude,
and hasten failure by giving up. After all, there is nothing to gain
Although confidence is desired by all, there is no replacement
for competence. The most confident athlete in the world still needs
skill and experience to succeed. Confidence just helps make
go more smoothly, often providing the decisive competitive edge.
Some describe the relationship between confidence and
performance as an inverted U, similar to the relationship between
arousal and performance. Maintaining an optimal level of confidence
is important because overconfidence, or a false belief in one's
ability, can also lead to reduced effort and performance.
Here are some techniques to help you develop and maintain
Effort invested in self-belief will help you reach your
potential. Confidence is not a luxury reserved for the divine ... just another
tool for success...compliments of sport psychology. Believe in yourself
and prosper! Until next month...
- Frequently image successful performances.
- Increase your level of physical fitness, as this will enhance
technique and self-image at the same time!
- Beat up on players slightly below your level occasionally to
keep confidence alive. Some players never learn to win or develop
confidence because they are always overmatched.
- Make a list of your strengths. Review this list regularly to
remind yourself of how great you really are.
- Eliminate negative thoughts and memories. When they occur,
replace them with positive self-statements (e.g., "I'm at my best under
- Have a general strategy going into each competition. Confidence
will grow as your plan is executed.
- Keep you head up and maintain positive body language regardless
of the score. The way you act will often influence the way you and your
opponent feel. Act confidently, be confident!
- Improve on areas of weakness in practice so that you'll have more
to believe in during competition.