Confidence Leads to Success in Sports
Confidence is the key to success in just about anything a person can do, but this especially plays true in relation to sports. Being confident leaves a person with very little doubt that they won’t be successful. Doubt undermines an athlete’s optimism and takes away from their performance. Athletes need to focus on being confident and visualizing success. Too often athletes concern themselves with worrying about the potentially negative outcomes which are then reflected in their performance.
It is important for young athletes to continually think about all of the positives that come with playing a sport. You need to remind yourself about the good plays and the good performances, not the mistakes, errors and other shortcomings. Sometimes when a young athlete strikes out during their first at-bat of the game, they carry that same at-bat with them for the remainder of the game. This will then affect their play in the field and their other at-bats later on in the game. Athletes need to learn to become confident and look at the “brighter” side of things. Look at each situation with a positive mindset and take advantage of every opportunity. If you strike out your first at-bat, think about how lucky you are to have a couple additional at-bats to get a hit the next time. If you lose a game, move on to thinking about how you are going to win the next one. Don’t dwell on the past because it will only lead to more negative outcomes.
In order to eliminate doubt, athletes must become aware of the thoughts that take away from confidence. Doubters often visualize what the negative outcomes would be like as opposed to what the positive results could be. Don’t think about what it would be like to miss the game-winning shot, but imagine what it would be like to make the game-winner. As a parent or coach you must help the youth athlete define exactly what their doubts are and then replace those doubts with positive and encouraging thoughts that will help maintain their confidence. Confident youth athletes will become much more successful and enhance their overall experience as a result.