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Midshipmen Development Center


But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits. -Michael Phelps

To be a star and stay a star, I think you've got to have a certain air of arrogance about you, a cockiness, a swagger on the field that says, I can do this and you cant stop me. -Joe Morgan

See it, think it, believe it, do it.

Confident athletes have learned that the conscious mind is not always an ally, that it must be disciplined, just as their bodies have been disciplined, to respond effectively in competition. Confidence in competitive sport is the result of specific thinking habits. Confident athletes focus on successfully mastering a task rather than worrying about performing poorly or the negative consequences of failure. Developing and maintaining confidence for high level competition requires that athletes recognize and then deliberately step away from many of the bad thinking habits they may have developed over the years.

  • confidence
  • mental
  • toughness
  • star
    Optimism Self-Efficacy

What is confidence?

  • Confidence is the result of a thinking process that allows athletes to do 2 things:
    • Hang on to and benefit from their successful experiences
    • Let go of or de-emphasize their less successful experiences
  • Success does not guarantee confidence.
  • Mistakes do not destroy confidence, having mistakes means that you are gaining experience, it is about whether you attend to the mistake or focus on the small improvements that are now possible.
  • Confidence is the result of how you think, what you focus on and how you react to the events in your life.

Gaining confidence

  1. Understand the interaction of thought and performance
  2. Become honestly self aware
  3. Develop a positive thinking style

Performance Excellence: Some strategies for building your own confidence

  • Get excited about doing the best that you can
  • Focus on your successes deliberately. Dwell on your day to day accomplishments. Use a training journal to note one instance of success, improvement and great effort
  • Be your own best friend, biggest fan and greatest coach. Give yourself the same helpful advice and support you would offer someone else.
  • Create your own reality. Interpret events in sport in order to create success. If performance slumps early in a game, take it as a signal that you are getting the kinks out and expect to do better. If performance is good early, take it as a signal that you in a great groove and expect it to continue.

Adapted from Williams et. al. (2010)

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