I once worked with a world class athlete who had competed at and then fallen out of the pro ranks and was trying to get back in. In fact, she had been going against the top players in the world in her sport 2 different times in her life. Both of those periods were for only a year or so and then her performances dropped and she was out.
Everybody told her that she had the game and the skills to beat the best players in the world. She would even show those skills during practices but those skills seem to desert her whenever it was time for competition. She told me she wanted to learn how to gain self confidence.
As we began our work together, it became very clear to me that her problem was a deep-seated belief in herself that she didn’t belong out there playing with the best. She knew, consciously that she was good enough to play with anyone but, she just didn’t believe at her innermost levels of the mind that she could compete.
She said that she just didn’t feel like she belonged at that level.
How do you get confidence in sports?
Well, the hard (and sometimes slow) way is to wait until you have some success and then you will gain confidence. But there’s a problem with that too. If your confidence is based on current success, then you know what happens when you have a run of no success. No confidence, right? Every athlete goes through periods where they just don’t play as well as they normally do.
Baseball players lose confidence when they get into slumps. Basketball players lose it after missing a few shots.I could go on and on but nobody plays their best all of the time. Even the greatest athletes of all time:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Michael Jordan – Basketball great
The way to build confidence in sports is to install a belief in the athlete.
Beliefs are like programs or apps on a computer, like Word or iTunes. They reside on your bio-computer (power mind or subconscious mind) and become activated by certain events in an person’s mind. Once activated, they run just like programs on a computer and give you an output or result.
If you have a belief programmed into your power mind that is something like this:
“I’ll never be good enough”
“I can’t win”
“I have no confidence in myself”
“I can’t do it”
“I don’t belong at this level”
then any time you get in a position to win or perform your best, that belief can be activated like a computer program or app and literally interfere with your muscle movements and destroy your skills.
How do you remove destructive beliefs and install a helpful one?
Beliefs are formed whenever you have a connection between your thinking mind and your power mind. This is the case in our first 7 or so years of life as it is called the “imprint” period. You also have that connection whenever you are in high emotion of any kind. Whatever you are thinking during high emotion can become a belief.
These are the 2 most natural times when we form beliefs but there is a third way and it’s one of my most powerful tools: guided visualization.
You can learn how to gain confidence by being the master of your own beliefs through guided visualizations. I’ve assisted tens of thousands of athletes with my guided visualizations that reach down past the thinking mind and into the power mind, if you allow it. Honestly, it’s my most powerful tool out of all the things I do with athletes and it is the most effective way to change beliefs.
To become confident in sports, you want to have beliefs like this:
“I can do this”
“I always come through under pressure”
“I can beat anyone”
“I am great at closing out a win”
In my Mental Toughness Academy, I have 8 guided visualizations, one for each module. I create custom-tailored sessions for athletes when I work with them in person.
After I assisted my world-class athlete to eliminating her destructive beliefs, all of a sudden her play become consistent. No more blowing leads and no more giving up when she was down. She became like a machine throughout her matches and made it back to the pro ranks. She was shocked at how easy it all was.
Change your beliefs and you will start feeling confident, when it counts.
Let’s do this,
Mental Toughness Trainer