What is Stable Confidence
Some kids’ confidence changes depending on the record or ability of their opponents. They only feel confident when they compete against weaker opponents and are less confident against tougher competition.
Young athletes’ confidence sinks when they become “wowed” by their opponents’ record, skills or talent level. Concentrating on their opponents takes the focus off their talents, preparation and game strategy.
When athletes concentrate on their strengths, preparation and planning, they gain a sense of control and more stable confidence.
Sports kids should work on building stable confidence. They want to develop a belief in their skills that is resistant to significant highs and lows. Stable confidence remains relatively the same whether kids win or lose. It doesn’t vary when they make mistakes.
A number of factors contribute to stable confidence:
-Growth Mindset: Athletes with stable confidence have a growth mindset. They believe they can get stronger, better and mentally tougher through effort and focus. For that reason, they put in extra time and effort, leading to higher achievement.
–Present Moment Focus: Athletes with stable confidence stay in the here and now when competing. They don’t worry about past mistakes, losses or future competitions and outcomes.
–Dedicated Preparation: Preparation separates elite athletes from others. Young athletes may not always enjoy working hard, but it helps them prepare for competitive pressure and adversity. Preparation can minimize stress.
–Sense of Control: Young athletes with stable confidence understand what they can and can’t control. Instead of wasting their energy on uncontrollable aspects of performance, they focus on their attitude, effort, actions and reactions.
–Focus on Process: Athletes with stable confidence establish and chase their goals. However, they realize that to accomplish significant goals, they must focus on the steps that will lead to achieving their athletic objectives.
In other words, they are not distracted by numbers such as wins, rankings or scores.
The 2023 NFC Championship game pitted the Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) against the San Francisco 49ers (13-4), a team that finished the season with the best-rated defense and was on a 12-game winning streak. The winner would advance to the Super Bowl.
Before the game, Philadelphia center Jason Kelce described the team’s approach to the game.
“The formula and everything are the same,” said Kelce. “You lock in during the week, you work hard, you practice hard, you work on your fundamentals and techniques, and you know, trust your coaching and go out there and play.”
Philadelphia’s preparation and approach were consistent for every game during the regular season. The team’s steady preparation helped maintain team members’ overall readiness and confidence even after losses, significant injuries and a grueling season.
Kids with stable confidence know they have put in months and years of training and competing in sports. When they make mistakes, it’s easier to maintain a full tank of confidence.
Young athletes should focus on the SELF in self-confidence. Confidence must come from within. Sports kids should not allow others’ expectations and chatter to undermine their confidence.
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