If all things were equal, the more confident athlete will always outshine the least confident one. An athlete with complete confidence will undoubtedly achieve his potential far sooner than an athlete that second guesses himself. Confidence can be defined in various ways. One definition states that it is the belief that you can successfully perform a desired behavior. Another reads, the belief that one’s ability is greater than or equal to the demands of the task. A common theme throughout the majority of definitions is that the person believes that he/she is able to do something.
Confidence is an essential component to high level performance. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, all of which confidence positively effects. The first positive outcome of high confidence relates to the overall emotional state of the athlete. A confident athlete is often happy and highly motivated. A motivated athlete works hard and diligently and often reaches his potential quicker than others. There is little doubt that a greater sense of well being induces greater productivity, this can also be said of athletes. High confidence can also create a sense of calmness and relaxation. The confident athlete does not worry about his conditioning or his opponents come game time. With nothing to worry about, he is free to focus on positive thoughts and outcomes. This leads us to another important component of confidence. That is the theory of the self-fulfilling prophesy. This theory basically suggests that when you think/ expect something to happen, it ultimately has a greater chance of happening. It is common to see a confident athlete who believes he can achieve something great, do just that. It is also not an accident that 99% of the greatest winners of all time have great self confidence
Written by Nick Newman, MS, NSCA-CSCS
Athlete Performance Coach, Champion’s QUEST Athlete Academy