For most younger athletes their game day success, particularly during the most pivotal moments of the game, all comes down to their belief in their ability to succeed or fail. In other words do they have adequate self-confidence on the field or court or not?
My research on the subject of self-confidence for younger athletes (along with my own personal experiences as a game coach, mental performance expert and former collegiate athlete) has convinced me that self-confidence is not an accident. In fact I have concluded that self-confidence for any athlete is the product of a clearly defined "cause and effect" cycle that is quite predictable. Moreover this confidence cycle is a clear predictor of game day performance as well.
For your athlete to achieve and maintain a high level of self-confidence, and thus a high level of game day performance they will need to be mindful of their own "confidence cycle."
So what is the "confidence cycle" that ultimately propels or sabotages game day performance?
It all starts with how your athlete processes his or her performance. In other words what are the thoughts swirling around in their head before, during and after his or her games?
If those thoughts are expansive, positive, and "can do" they have laid a great foundation for their confidence cycle and game day success.
However, if their mental reaction to their game day performance is highly critical, negative, limiting and "can't do" he or she has created a rocky foundation for their confidence cycle and game day performance.
Below is a flow chart illustrating the cycle between the most important components that make up self-confidence: