“When you make the right choice, you won’t see the results. At least, not today.”
Working for something worthwhile is never instant. There are trials, mistakes, moments of doubt, and small successes that build the ladder to great moments of accomplishment.
I love helping young people build self-confidence, find toughness, and commit to a process that works for their whole life. Even though I believe in and know that things take time and hard work pays off (even when you don’t immediately feel it), I struggle with this too. It’s human to struggle with it.
We must be honest in our critique of our own work and commitments, but we must also be patient with results. Trust the choices you make in favor of integrity, hard work, and change to be better! This will make us stronger, make us wiser, and ultimately help us find the success we want sooner.
Quote from "The Slight Edge", by Jeff Olson
People have to push themselves to discover how capable they are and to develop confidence when things are not easy. Playing sports is a great arena for this. There is an opponent, you must build skill, you must exercise focus to execute, and things will surely go against you at some point. Some days things go our way; other times, nothing works.
We build resilience through these tough moments that we push through. We also get to develop a positive mindset. Do you believe in yourself, or give up on yourself when things get tough? If you can develop this trust in yourself and this positive mindset through athletics, it will serve you in every area of your life, for the rest of your life. What is more valuable than a skill like that?
This excerpt from Alan Stein (author, strength coach, keynote speaker) ties together the point here:
When you push yourself, in any area of your life, it will force you to confront the inevitable negative self-talk. The question is, how do you respond? What do you ‘say back’ when that little voice inside is full of negativity? While I still have a way to go, I am getting so much better at managing negative self-talk. I’m getting better at silencing my inner critic and choosing to ignore (and not believe) anything I say to myself that doesn’t serve me! This will be a lifelong endeavor.
Do we want to be a child who is a champion at everything but never struggles through adversity? Or do we want to become an adult who knows how to handle difficult circumstances with positivity, poise, toughness, and confidence? Sports, if you let them, will help develop these abilities.
As you get into game play in your season, building and maintaining confidence becomes so key! Here are a few ways to think about your confidence and how you have control over it.
-Put in extra practice-prove to yourself that you are ready! Putting in some practice outside of your team practice will greatly improve your confidence on the floor. Figure out what shots you will take in the game. Go work on those shots. Get some extra ball handling in each week. Play one on one with someone a little bit better than you to improve your defense in games.
-Hear the good in what you coach says. Many times athletes focus on the negative or the criticism from a coach. They likely said some positive things about your play too. Ask them what your strengths are if you don’t know! Play to those strengths and keep asking for feedback. Make sure you listen with open ears and pick up the compliments on your game as well as the constructive feedback.
-Prepare mentally. Think about how you want to show up in the game and focus on those behaviors beforehand. Watch some film of your games if you can. What do you want to do better the next time out? Easy to do but easy not to do: try some visualization. Close your eyes for two minutes and picture yourself in the game making great decisions, hitting shots, and leading your team. This will impact your play as your mind will see your best game. Don’t knock it til you try it!
Nobody can give you confidence. But you sure can work on building it and protecting it as you go through the season. Figure out what works for you, and stay positive when you don’t play great. Confidence can be the biggest separator you find this season!!!
"Get Better" is our PEAK blog, providing you with content to help enhance your game, your mind, and your relentless pursuit of the process! Enjoy.
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