Confidence is a state of being. A state is the condition of a person under curtain circumstances. For example, you might be really confidence on a 6.2 mile, easy training run but in a 6.2 mile race not so confident. If you are running the same distance, what’s the problem? In the first scenario you are running 6.2 miles, alone and at an easy pace. In a 6.2 mile race you are not running with a lot of other people, you are probably trying to run faster than many of the other runners and are more than likely racing for a specific time.
Is there truth in either having confidence or not
As in the above example you are ‘confident’ in some situations and not others. For example, as an athlete you may be confident in practice but not so confident in competition. Or, you may be confident in your athletic abilities in your sport but not at all in another sport.
Most athletes have confidence in certain areas or states but not in all and sometimes not in the areas you most want it. Why? When you really want something you put a lot of pressure on yourself to obtain exactly what you want and nothing less. In those situations you feel like you aren’t confident. That may be the case and it may be the case that underneath all of the other obstacles getting in the way, there is a confident you.
In the field of sports psychology confidence has been researched and it has been determined to be a ‘constant’ with elite athletes in their sport. Elite athletes hold the belief that they can perform at high levels (confidence) but have self doubts. In your mind, what is the difference between confidence and self doubt? I would be interested in hearing your comments.
How your confidence is affected
- Self expectation-positive expectations produce positive results. Expecting to beat a tough component or successfully perform a difficult task can produce exceptional results.
- Coaches-this has been a huge topic of conversation lately with many of the athletes I work with. For more information on this please refer to a previous blog: http://drmichellecleere.com/2012/the-necessary-coaching-skills/
- Evaluations and medals-being evaluated brings with it expectations that provide and added layer of pressure.
Initially I think that building confidence comes from the support athletes get (mainly) from their parents. For more information on this please refer to a previous blog: http://drmichellecleere.com/2012/the-importance-of-parental-support-for-olympic-success/
- Performance accomplishments-using past successful accomplishments to increase confidence leading to further successful behavior.
- Thinking confidently-self fulfilling prophecy: you have to think you can do it.
- Acting confidently-act confidently (body language) even during critical errors or losses.
- Using imagery-see yourself doing things you’ve never been able to do or have had difficulty doing.
Confidence can be built. It’s not static. How your confidence is affected and how you build it depends on your situation.
I hope you have a great weekend!
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