Mental Skill #2 - Confidence

Level up and Power up your Game by Knowing How to Build your own Confidence

“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings”

Samuel Johnson


Confidence is an essential element to perform your best and achieve goals. It is the belief in your abilities and the trust in your skills to succeed. When we are confident we are more likely to perform well under pressure, stay focused, maintain a positive attitude, and stay in the high performance mindset. This article will explore the importance of confidence, factors affecting it, and ways to cultivate and build confidence.

Importance of Confidence in Sports

  • Performance enhancement: Confidence has a direct impact on performance. When you believe in your abilities, you are more likely to take risks, make quick decisions, and execute skills effectively.

  • Mental toughness: When you are confident, you are better equipped to handle pressure, adversity, and setbacks. You can maintain your composure and stay focused on your goals, even when faced with challenges.

  • Motivation: A strong belief in your abilities can fuel your motivation to work harder, train consistently, and continually strive for performance excellence.

  • Resilience: Confidence helps you bounce back from failures, setbacks, and disappointments. You learn from mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth and development.

  • Enjoyment: Athletes with high confidence levels tend to enjoy their sport more, which can lead to increased satisfaction and a longer-lasting athletic career.

The Mind-Body Connection

In order to understand how to be confidence it's essential to understand the mind-body connection. For an athlete, your body is a tool, but what often goes overlooked is the impact of the mind on physical performance. Confidence is the bridge that connects the physical and mental together.

When you are confident, your brain sends signals to the body that activate the release of hormones (like adrenaline, which can boost strength, speed, and overall physical capabilities). This mental state also reduces the perception of effort, making it easier for athletes to push their limits without feeling overwhelmed. In essence, confidence optimizes an athlete's physical potential through the mind-body connection.

The Positive Feedback Loop

Confidence doesn't just enhance performance; it also creates a positive feedback loop. When we experience success, even small victories, it reinforces our confidence. This, in turn, motivates you to work harder, take on greater challenges, and strive for more significant achievements. It's a self-perpetuating cycle that can lead to continued growth and success.

"Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence."

Vince Lombardi

How to Build Your Confidence

  • Past experiences: Previous successes and failures can significantly influence your confidence. Positive experiences can reinforce self-belief, while negative experiences may cause self-doubt. Recall positive past experiences to build your confidence.

  • Preparation: Proper training, practice, and preparation can help you build confidence in their abilities.

  • Routines: Pre competition routines help not only with physical and mental preparation, but also the mind-body connection discussed earlier. They ensure you maintain a positive outlook and assurance you did everything you can to prepare.

  • Support system: Encouragement and support from coaches, teammates, and family members can boost your confidence.

  • Self-talk: The way you talk to yourself can affect your confidence. Positive self-talk can reinforce self-belief, while negative self-talk can undermine it.

  • Comparison with others: Comparing oneself with other athletes can either boost or diminish confidence, depending on the perceived skill level of the comparison group. Try to maintain a process focus.

Cultivating or Building Your Confidence

  1. Set realistic goals: Establishing achievable, specific, and measurable goals can help athletes build confidence as they work towards and accomplish them.

  2. Focus on strengths: Encourage athletes to concentrate on their strengths and what they do well, rather than dwelling on their weaknesses or mistakes.

  3. Visualization: Encourage athletes to visualize themselves succeeding in their sport, which can help strengthen their belief in their abilities.

  4. Positive self-talk: Teach athletes to replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations and self-encouragement.

  5. Embrace challenges: Encourage athletes to view challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement, rather than threats to their confidence.

  6. Seek support: Athletes should surround themselves with a supportive network of coaches, teammates, and family members who believe in their abilities and offer encouragement.

  7. Celebrate successes: Acknowledging and celebrating achievements, no matter how small, can reinforce self-belief and boost confidence.


Remember, confidence is a crucial component of athletic success. By understanding its importance, recognizing factors that affect it, and employing strategies to boost it, athletes can significantly enhance their performance and overall enjoyment of their sport. Unlock your full potential by building and maintaining confidence in your abilities!

Confidence is the most important single factor in this game, and no matter how great your natural talent, there is only one way to obtain and sustain it: work."

Jack Nicklaus

Key Take Aways

  1. Confidence Drives Performance: Confidence is not just a mental state; it has a direct impact on physical performance. When you are confident, you body responds with increased strength, speed, and resilience. Confidence acts as a bridge between the mind and body, optimizing your full potential.

  2. Positive Feedback Loop: Confidence creates a positive feedback loop. Success reinforces confidence, motivating you to strive for more significant achievements. This self-perpetuating cycle of confidence and success can lead to continued growth and resilience in the face of errors, setbacks, challenges, and adversity.

  3. Cultivating Confidence is Essential: Confidence is not innate; it can be cultivated and harnessed through preparation, positive self-talk, visualization, goal setting, learning from failure, and much more. Cultivating confidence is a skill that you can and should work on to enhance your performance.

Reflective Moment

Am I actively working on cultivating my confidence as an athlete, and if so, which specific techniques or strategies am I using to boost my self-assurance and optimize my performance?

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