Now that teams are back on the field this fall, being strategic about confidence is a must! A coach's ability to enhance confidence in their players is a key ingredient to a successful season and overall team performance. There is a strong connection between how confident an athlete is and whether she will perform well. Mentally strong individual athletes translates to a confident team culture that thrives.
“To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend that you are.” - Muhammad Ali
The definition of self-confidence is - the belief or degree of certainty an athlete possesses about his or her ability to succeed in their sport. That is why understanding how to bolster confidence in your athletes is so important.
Strong, unshakeable belief in oneself acts as a protective shield to lessen the blow from setbacks athletes face. Sometimes your posture or 'acting' confident is enough to start that belief in yourself.
Doesn't this young fencer exude confidence??
Athletes who have the confidence that a good work ethic and drive to improve overtime, even in the midst of drawbacks can increase overall resilience and eventually make her even stronger.
Coaches have a role to play in building confidence in their athletes through the way they give feedback, demonstrate a skill - so it's easy to replicate as well as creating a supportive, fun environment at practice. Confidence is built overtime, is fostered by a growth mindset and can be strengthened, or broken by the way a coach interacts with every athlete.
How are you intentionally building your athletes' confidence?
Here are six steps you can take as a coach to create a culture of confidence across your entire team!