How to gain confidence.
Undoubtedly the presence or absence of self-confidence affects the way we act. This is because the levels of confidence are able to influence our perception of the environment. In a situation of competition, an athlete with low self-esteem notices an increase in the intensity of competitive anxiety. This takes the athlete to perceive the situation as out of control and it will end weakening his/her performance. In contrast, under high confidence the perception of control over the situation facilitates a better performance.
Self-confidence is an essential quality in elite athletes that act protecting themselves from potential debilitating thoughts in competitive situations (Hanton, Mellaieu, Hall, 2004). It was found that some athletes use specific techniques which maintain a level of confidence that guarantees an optimal mental state for athletic performance. The techniques in order to gain confidence include visualization, positive self-talk and thought stopping.
Visualization: It consists on building successful mental images about the next performance or using thoughts about previous situations where performance has been good. These thoughts position the athlete in a positive situation in front of competition.
Positive internal dialogue: Focusing on positive thoughts was used as a form of internal persuasion to maintain or increase confidence.
Detention of thought lies in blocking negative thoughts and re addressing them towards positive ones.
It has been shown that the use of external persuasion techniques from the coach helps athletes to maintain concentration and confidence. When somebody says to you that you can do it, that you are good enough, your mind starts thinking that. This encouragement should be realistic.
Self-confidence is a valuable condition not only in sports but in life in general. Although the practice of these strategies is not an easy task, as it requires being aware of what is thought at every moment, it will bring you great benefits.
Do you have any strategies that help you to gain confidence? Do you need to gain confidence? We look forward to receiving your comments.
Hanton S., Mellalieu S., Hall R., 2004. Self-confidence and anxiety interpretation: A qualitive investigation. Psycologyof Sport & Exercise 477-495.