Elite Sports Performance. Mind Conditioning Exercise. Building Self Confidence

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1 Elite Sports Performance Mind Conditioning Exercise Building Self Confidence What is Self Confidence? Self confidence is the belief that you can perform a given task or behavior. It is often used to refer to a positive attitude and healthy believe in ones sporting ability. Why is it important? 1. Confidence gives you positive feelings Less likely to be anxious or stressed 2. Confidence allows concentration Focus on the task at hand 3. Confidence encourages you to set harder goals To push yourself to your limits 4. Confidence encourages effort and persistence Work harder for longer 5. Confidence affects the way athletes perform Take chances and get involved ACTIVITY 1 Understanding the Signs of confidence Outline 10 Characteristics of athletes high in self confidence

2 Outline 10 Characteristics of athletes low in self confidence ACTIVITY 2 Factors that affect Self Confidence List 10 Factors that could have a negative impact on an athletes self confidence

3 ACTIVITY 3 Self Assessment of Self Confidence Get your athletes to complete the following questionnaire to give you a better idea of their view of their own self confidence levels Name: How Confident are you of Low High beating your opponent? 2. your own abilities? 3. your preparation for competition? 4. your fitness to last the game/fight? 5. following the tactics set out in training? 6. staying self disciplined? 7. dealing with the distractions? 8. dealing with the unexpected? 9. recovering well from making mistakes? 10. handling any criticism? Steps to building Self Confidence The Athlete 1. Never Give Up Achieving success can take a long time Always encounter highs and lows along the journey Need to learn from losses, apply to next situation and come back stronger 2. Continuous Purposeful Practice Good quality practice will improve your sporting performance Self confidence will increase instinctively Creates feelings that you have trained harder than your opponents and are better prepared

4 3. Consider your all round sporting performance Learn to not focus on one aspect of your performance so you do not dwell on areas not working so well Consider areas in which you are performing well and be confident about these See weaker areas as challenges that can be overcome 4. Pathway to confidence Set small goals everyday in training, and recognize when you have achieved these Set up a pathway to success, where you tick off each goal achieved on route to achieving success Focus on each positive step that is achieved to help develop confidence in your own ability 5. Positive Self Talk Positive emotions lead to positive actions Learn to talk positively to yourself about your sporting performance, focusing on the areas that your perform well Tell yourself your weak areas can be improved, and set out a process to do this 6. Develop a Strong Support Group You are influenced by your friends and family, and therefore you must be clear what you need from them in terms of support Important that they learn to positively reinforce your belief in yourself and your internal motivation Must learn to tell parents or friends if they are having a negative impact on your self confidence

5 7. Focus on the task at hand Focus on aspects of your performance you can control and ignore those that you cannot Discipline your mind to accept only positive and supportive messages, and actively reject negative interference Follow set routines and preparation no matter what the occasion 8. Trust your own abilities Takes you beyond self confidence in to The zone Do not over think, learn to trust your body to do what you have trained it to do Allow yourself to win the big competitions by trusting your skills Steps to building Self Confidence The Coach 1. Be a Role Model Develop and reinforce a positive environment at all times Use your expertise to show your athletes you are in control, can provide support and are able to take pressure off them as required Consider your appearance, attitude and personality, as your athletes will take their lead from you 2. Set out a Clear Plan Develop a clear and realistic plan setting out your overall objectives, short and long term goals and reasons behind your ideas Discuss these plans with your athletes, ensuring they have input into the final plan Hold weekly and monthly meetings to discuss progress made and to get feedback from your athletes on how to improve the plan

6 3. Train Hard but with Enjoyment Ensure training sessions are hard work, conducted at the right intensity and have a clear objective Helps to create confidence in athletes, who belief no teams or individuals have worked harder, and that they are as prepared as they can be Ensure sessions also have an element of fun about them, so athletes look forward to training and do not get bored 4. Focus on Potential Building confidence in athletes begins with coaches seeing the potential in their athletes and helping them to see the same Great coaches plant the seeds of success in their athletes minds and make them feel important, appreciated and capable of anything This will help athletes reach beyond their own self imposed doubts, limits and fears 5. Notice and Reward Good Performance Stress your athletes strengths and always reinforce what they do well Often giving praise, followed by constructive criticism, followed by more praise in relation to one particular area works very well Coaches are will be more likely to notice changes in performance if they have helped each athlete understand their roles 6. Treat all Athletes with Respect Treat each athlete as a unique individual who deserves special attention Encourage your athletes to express their feelings, ask questions and come to you with problems Show patience and understand when you need to give your athletes time and space

7 Answers for the Coach ACTIVITY 1 Understanding the Signs of confidence Outline 10 Characteristics of athletes high in self confidence 1. Having a Can Do attitude 2. Confident body language 3. No fear of failure 4. Self dependent Do not Blame Others 5. Enjoy competitive situations 6. Self Control 7. Positive and encouraging communication 8. High levels of concentration 9. No need to impress others 10. Understand their strengths and weaknesses Outline 10 Characteristics of athletes low in self confidence 1. Worry about what others think 2. Blind to their success s 3. Negative Body Language 4. Very emotional and irrational 5. Find evidence to show they are no good 6. Don t enjoy their sport 7. Depend on others to succeed 8. Focus on failure and its consequences 9. Very negative attitude 10. Poor Concentration

8 Answers for the Coach Continued ACTIVITY 2 Factors that affect Self Confidence List 10 Factors that could have a negative impact on an athletes self confidence 1. Loss of Form 2. Lifestyle problems 3. Injury 4. Change of coach 5. Family Problems 6. Non selection 7. Personal Problems 8. Change of position/environment 9. Mistakes during match/competition 10. Change of tactics

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