“Confidence is like money, it’s really hard to earn and very easy to lose.”
I love this quote from Martina Navratilova, simply because it’s a perfect metaphor.
Too often the fragility of confidence is obvious in the athletes I work with. There is constant fear that it’s all going to suddenly disappear…or maybe it already has.
The fear doesn’t stop there. So many athletes also fear that once confidence is gone, they will be left feeling helpless and without a sense of control over how to get it back.
Fortunately, there is hope. Once of the greatest benefits of mental training is giving athletes back a sense of control over building and sustaining their confidence…even when things go wrong.
Here are a few tips on how to build confidence (and, more importantly, how to keep it!):
1. Accept that mistakes are valuable to your learning process.
Ironically, being afraid of making mistakes will actually cause you to make real mistakes! This fear will also slow down your ability to learn from your experiences.
It’s important to remember that mistakes happen, even to the greatest of athletes. Learning quickly from mistakes is a big confidence builder.
2. Track your daily and weekly goals and tasks.
Tracking everything – from hydration to how many shots you take after practice – provides you with an opportunity to see all your effort and earn your confidence through actual hard work, rather than perceived hard work. It creates a powerful visual that will help you build improve on your skills and continue to grow.
3. Hold on to your best moments.
Mistakes naturally leave a bigger imprint on our memories. This is because there is more thinking involved after a mistake is made…in the form of dwelling on the negative.
We’ve all been there. It doesn’t matter how amazing your game was, all it takes is one mistake and all you can think is, “Why did you do that?!” Frustration and anger flood your system, imagery forces replay after replay of the mistake, and before you know it, you’ve forgotten all of the great stuff you did and can only think about the one tiny mistake you made!
Ironically, it takes special effort to pay attention when things go right to capitalize on our success. Replaying, understanding and repeating success is key to sustainable confidence.
Being a confident athlete may seem like a simple thing. However, it just might be the most difficult task to achieve. Let Mental Mastery Online guide you towards a successful athletic career by helping you build the confidence you need to succeed!