“Self-confidence in sports relies primarily on the athlete’s ability to believe he can win and that he can be successful in his efforts.” – Livestrong.com
An athlete’s self-confidence is their most important quality they can possess. Without they will let the doubt, the fear, the unknown consume them and keep them from even getting to the starting line. Every training day is different, every race is different (even when it’s the same race year after year), every minute is a new minute. It’s this self-confidence that allows them to get up when they fall down, when they have a bad race, allows them to believe they can accomplish what they didn’t think they could. Athlete’s develop self-confidence within themselves, it’s not something that anyone else can do for them. It’s difference for everyone. What works for one isn’t going to work for another it’s personal.
I was an athlete since I was in grade school playing T-ball, then into soccer., and then track. Then in high school I was an all season athlete. Fall was filled with football, winter was filled with wrestling, and spring was filled swimming. I wasn’t an all-star in any of them I was the average player in terms of ability on all my teams. However the one thing I did was show up, and during football practice sometimes I got my butt handed to me. My freshman year in wrestling I felt like a rag doll being used by the juniors and seniors. I kept showing up though. I had no clue that deep down inside I was building confidence in myself. Knowing that if I’m able to keep showing up that it doesn’t matter how hard something is, if it’s within my control I won’t quit. It taught me that I’ll make it through the hard days of training, I believe in myself, I just have to stay the course. I will make it! Yeah there are days where I ask myself… what the F*&K are you doing? Hell even at 38 years old training for some of my races I’ve asked myself as I lay on the ground after a hard workout seeing stars… what am I doing? It’s that self-confidence in myself that get’s me through the finish and to keep focused.
So then how do you get self-confidence, how do you keep it, how do you build it? You get, gain, and keep self-confidence by completing the same task over and over again and build past the limits that you once knew. You be brave when it comes to expanding those limits and tell yourself “I think I can do that”. When you believe you can do something and you go out and do whatever it takes to achieve it, you accomplish more than something physical. You’ve just expanded those limits and built self-confidence. You cannot be afraid to expand those limits, otherwise you’ll never grow. It’s your personal responsibility to take ownership of your confidence and not allow others or outside factors to interfere with that. You’re responsible for it. Expect to have bad days, expect to have good days, expect there to be adversity, how are you going to get up? Are you going to quit on yourself or are you going to be brave and believe in yourself that you expand your limits and achieve your goals?