Building Confidence In Your Athletes

Possible vs. Impossible

It has been two years since my last video blog, but I’ve finally begun updating my YouTube channel again. One of the topics that I have been meaning to discuss is confidence. I’ve written about confidence before, but it is one of those topics that can never receive too much attention. It’s that important. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find any athlete who will not benefit from improving self-confidence. Unfortunately, many coaches do very little to build the self-confidence of their athletes.

How To Build Confidence In Your Athletes

There is no denying that athletes tend to become more confident as they gain experience. A seasoned veteran does not battle the same uncertainties that often paralyze the beginner. Yet, while experience is certainly crucial, it is a huge mistake to ignore confidence in novice athletes. Often times, it is the beginner who needs confidence the most. With that in mind, coaches and trainers should actively strive to build confidence in their athletes each day.

In the video below, I share a few simple ways for coaches to begin improving self-confidence in their athletes.

It’s Not About You

While discussing confidence, it’s a useful time to remind coaches and trainers of their primary role. In short, your job is to improve the performance of your athletes. There is nothing in the job description about running athletes into the ground to prove your bravado.

As legendary trainer Angelo Dundee once said,

“We [trainers] are secondary guys. We’re not I, I, I. You can’t be an I guy.”

In other words, your job as a coach (or trainer) isn’t about you. It’s about your athletes. And building their confidence is one of the most effective ways to improve performance. Thus, if you aren’t actively working to build their confidence, you aren’t doing your job properly.

Final Thoughts

In summary, developing an athlete involves much more than improving physical qualities. What goes on inside the athlete’s head is more important than any exercise or supplement will ever be. Never underestimate the significance of self-confidence. An athlete who truly believes in himself (and his training) will always outperform a similarly skilled opponent who doubts his ability and preparation.

Furthermore, don’t underestimate your ability to put positive (or negative) thoughts inside an athlete’s head. A good coach or trainer dictates much of what the athlete thinks about himself. Therefore, make sure you are giving him something positive to think about each night. It may seem insignificant at the time, but a few regular words of encouragement will gradually accumulate. The eventual result will be an athlete who has greater belief in himself and his abilities.

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“Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” – Vince Lombardi

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2 comments:

  1. Ross,

    I read most if not all of your articles, however the ones I always find myself coming back to are your series of videos regarding training philosophy, such as how real results take time and focusing on the task at hand. These types of videos regarding the “intangibles” are what I derive the most use from. While much of this site is devoted to developing the body, I appreciate that you take the time to speak about building athletes and boxers from the inside. When a boxer walks away from the ring, few can maintain their physical prime. But the lessons he learns from boxing and the person he becomes from them he carries with him for life.

    I really enjoy these types of entries and look forward to more in the future,
    -Nelson

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