I encounter hundreds of athletes and parents in any given week and the most asked question is, “Can you help improve my child’s confidence?” Confidence is something that is developed daily and if you want to improve it, you must first define it. Confidence is defined as the belief in one’s self or powers and abilities. Just because you are confident in one area of your life doesn’t necessarily mean you’re confident in others. With this in mind, what are you doing to improve your confidence in your specific performance domain.
I have identified a few areas that we work on to improve confidence while working out at FASST Performance. These tips can be applied to anything you do.
1. Progress not perfection- Too often I see people looking for perfection and they are hyper critical of their mistakes. This can impact confidence and limit people from taking calculated risk. If you focus on progress instead of being the best in the group, doing things exactly right, or always coming in first, you will set yourself up for success. By steadily improving your skills at each training session or class, you will be excited to see how much progress you have made.
2. Accept deficits as strengths- I often hear athletes criticize themselves for being too small, slow, or weak. I also hear parents describe their children this way. I know that if I tell myself that I’m small and weak, that doesn’t get me confident to go out and get into a boxing ring. Instead of focusing on these areas of deficit and beat yourself up over them, use them to your advantage. I know that many parents get concerned that their children are too small to play football or that their size limits them. I played with many of undersized athletes who were able to capitalize on their other strengths. Focus on your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. The word extraordinary is for those who are extra ordinary. If you always had the prototypical speed, strength, and size it wouldn’t be fun because you would have nothing to work toward.
3. Practice mental toughness- Many times people become frustrated, fold the tent, and go home. If you feel you are about to give in and resort to your old ways of self-doubt and discouragement, reverse the situation by embracing the challenge. I know that I become frustrated often and when I do, I need to put the brakes on and redirect myself. I tell myself that this is a situation that I can improve myself and concentrate on what I need to do to get through the experience. By doing this, I strengthen my mind and build confidence when I’m faced with a difficult situation.
4. Focus on action- There are rules everywhere….Don’t run at the pool, don’t talk with your mouth full, don’t cut in line. We have rules from the day we step foot on this earth. I feel limited with rules so I like to focus on expectations and actions. When I work my teams out I like to have a standard set and the expectation level high. Next time you catch yourself saying, don’t eat junk food, switch the self talk to, I’m going to eat a healthy piece of fruit. This way you are taking positive action and fueling yourself for success.
5. Go for it- If you want it, go get it!!! Do something that you love and make it happen. Nothing is more inspiring that having a goal, making a plan, and going after it. The happiest and most confident people are those who are taking action and building a great life. I’m a firm believer that no one is destined for success from birth. That would mean that we had no control over what we do with our lives. If that were the case, we could just shut down schools, close down gyms, and watch the people who were destined for success storm through life. However, I do believe that we are born with some innate talents that need to be developed. Take some chances on some things you may enjoy and learn the skills necessary to get better. Nothing makes you more confident that learning a new skill and going home and showing someone you love.
Hope you can use these five tips to improve your confidence. No one is born with skill. So it is a good feeling knowing that if you aren’t confident, you can work on it. Improve yourself daily by learning new skills, pushing yourself towards your goals, and focusing on what you can do rather on what you can’t. If you are interested in participating in any of our programs or learning more about FASST Performance, go to the following link.
Have a great finish to your week!!!