A New 26: C is for Confidence

       An estimated 50% of what I do as a high school mental performance coach is deprogramming bad information young people have been hearing for years.  You know, the kind of stuff that gets 100s of RT on Twitter but is ill-informed, at best.  Here's an example:

"If you don't feel confident, you might as well not even show up."

If people followed this advice, there'd be a whole hell of a lot of absences in sports.  There'd be automatic outs in baseball.  Penalty kicks skipped in soccer.  Teams playing with 3 players against 5 in basketball.  It'd be a game changer for sure.  Many people think of confidence as a feeling.  While feelings of confidence are real, and we'd all love to feel confident all of the time, the reality is we aren't going to.  And that's okay.  The legendary Ken Ravizza used to say something to the effect of, "Are you so bad you have to have your A game in order to compete?"  What I think he was saying is it's less about how we feel and more about who and what we are.  Who and what we are build over time.  Through repeated efforts, the testing of those efforts, and adjusting accordingly.  We're built through experience, both successes and failures, and how we respond to that experience.
        When we don't give our efforts and experiences enough credit we do ourselves a great disservice.  That big time power you have?  It's because you've taken countless swings and lifted weights.  It  doesn't disappear when you strike out one time.  Your pull up jumper?  You don't lose the ability to take and make it based on one possession or a rough game.  Your ability to outrun defenders isn't gone because of that sarcastic comment your coach made when a slower player caught you.  What I'm getting at is you've likely earned more confidence than you give yourself credit for.  All of what you've done, both on and off the field, are contributors in building your confidence.  Now, there's a flip side to that too.  Want to get more confident?  You're going to have to earn it.  It's not done through moving your hands back a little bit and then hammering a line drive.  It's not going to come through one really good touch and cross to a teammate for a goal.  Those experiences count and may unlock the realization you can do something, but you're going to need to do it over and over to build who and what you are.  To build real confidence.  PUT HERE

        There's a graphic I love from a book I love called The Confidence Gap.  I've included it below.  It's how you build confidence.  I hope you find it useful.  You've probably earned more than you realize.  The good news is you can act even if you don't feel like you have, and the way to build that confidence is through the action.  Keep acting.  Keep earning.  Keep being... You.

- Coach Ehrlich

One of my favorite moments to see (I know, I know.  I've got lots of favorite moments.  Deal with it.) is when someone has a light bulb moment where they realize something that used to be a weakness for them is now a strength.  Recently a graduating senior who'd played soccer wrote a thank you note and included something about how she'd gained a lot of confidence over the last three of years.  Confidence used to be a weakness for her.  Gaining confidence in confidence?  My head almost exploded!  That is real confidence building at its finest and a tremendous credit to the young lady mentioned for all she put in to improving herself as a player and person throughout her experience.


Popular Posts