Of all the topics I write about, speak about and train on self-confidence is consistently at the top of the list for parents, coaches and players...and for good reason. Without a high and consistent level of self-confidence your athlete will stand little chance of becoming a consistent peak performer on the field.
Self-confidence is the mental trigger mechanism that drives performance. Unfortunately for a young athlete self-confidence can be as fleeting as sand through their fingers, and a frustrating mystery for both parents and coaches.
It's a given that all athletes want to perform their best every time they step on the field. However, optimal performance is a result of both physical and mental skills mastery; one without the other will create a disconnect that will show up in key game situations when an athlete's successor failure will hinge on their "crunch time" performance.
Fortunately there is a blueprint to gaining peak self confidence, the ingredients of which are found in the complex set of variables that either serve to propel and empower confidence or sabotage and destroy confidence. The path this blueprint lays out is easy to understand, yet hard tomaster. Peak self-confidence comes with time and conscious effort by both player and parent. It requires being honest about the current state of the athlete's level of self-confidence and why it is where it is.
Here is the 10 point blueprint your athlete MUST follow in order to cultivate and maintain peak confidence that will, in turn, yield consistent peak performance on game day:
1. Acknowledge their current state of confidence, fear and anxiety. In other words for parent and athlete don't pretend the problem isn't there. With self-confidence issues your athlete can't just tough it out and work through it.
2. Recognize that fear is the base for most self-confidence issues for athletes. Fear of failure; fear of disappointing parents, teammates, coaches and self; fear of being embarrassed (particularly for girls); fear of the unknown.
3. The kids I train like this acronym: F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real. Most young athlete engage in distorted thinking predicated on false evidence. Often they belief they cannot do something because their friend can't or simply because they haven't done it before. As a parent it is your job to challenge their beliefs about themselves and their game to get their thinking right. This alone will greatly diminish their fear.
7 more key points here: http://www.softballsmarts.com/2012/02/10-point-blueprint-to-self-confidence.html.
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Thanks for reading! -- John Kelly, Softball Smarts
Boost your athlete's game day confidence fast with the Sports Confidence Blueprint program!