Confidence is a key to top athletic performance

During a game, William is more likely to think productive thoughts, such as saying to himself “I can get this batter out”, or imagining the ball going right to the catcher’s mitt, or staying focused on executing his proper technique. These thoughts are considered productive because they are helpful to William in producing the end result of a good performance.

In addition, William is likely to feel less nervous or worried about his performance because he believes he is in control. He may also feel more optimistic about his chances for success and look forward to the challenge of pitching against his opponent.


Lastly, William is likely to act with more intensity and direction in practice by working hard, putting in the required time in his drill work, showing up early and staying late for practice, etc. These behaviors are the likely result of William’s belief in his ability to deliver the desired results during competition.

If you are like most athletes, you gain confidence by mastering new skills or by defeating your opponents. In fact, being successful is the most powerful source of confidence from which athletes can draw. However, since you cannot guarantee your success all the time, you will need to rely upon other sources of confidence as well.

Here are some tips to boost your confidence for competition during times when you aren’t experiencing much success:

(1)            Prepare yourself physically and mentally for competition to the best of your ability and choose to focus on your strengths as you get closer and closer to the start of your competition.

(2) Seek support and encouragement from your parents, friends, teammates, or coaches to feel better about yourself and more confident as a result.

(3)            Observe the success of your teammates to plant the belief that you can succeed, too, if you are intense in your efforts as well.

(4) Lean heavily upon your coaches’ leadership and decision-making for some added confidence.


The mentally tough possess an unshakable belief in their ability to achieve their goals, think more productively, feel more positively, and exert more intense effort as a result of their unshakable belief, and base their confidence in sources other than, and in addition to, their successes. Are you mentally tough?