“Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence”— Vince Lombardi
Research suggests that positive self-talk is associated with better performance in football.
In fact, research also demonstrates the detrimental impact negative self-talk has on performance and having a positive attitude when it comes to athletic endeavors improves performance.
A common presentation for young athletes is an inner dialogue that is dominated with doubt and negativity. Most common expressions from young athletes are:
“I’ll never be able to do it!”
“I am no good at it,”
“There is no point trying.”
This type of negative self-talk can prevent you from performing well and create a negative cycle of poor self-esteem and poor performance. If you feel you can’t be successful at a task, you often accept, and even expect failure.
Negativity can turn your insecurities into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The good news is that positive self-talk is a skill that you can learn and utilize with practice.
By using positive self-talk, you can build the football confidence you require to accept new challenges, maintain a healthy self-esteem, and build on new skills, even when the task is personally challenging.
The first task in helping you challenge and change your self-talk is to condition your football mind to recognize negative self-talk patterns and identifying unhelpful language such as “can’t” or “never” in your internal dialogue. Once you have identified negative self-talk, you can challenge and replace those thoughts.
Like other mental skills, the process of replacing negative self-talk can take some time. You need to learn to interrupt patterns of self-doubt with more realistic and helpful thinking. For example, you tell yourself, “I’ll never score this goal,” can replace this thought with a more helpful and realistic thought such as “I’ve made the goal many times during practice and I can do it again!”
Just saying positive things is not enough, you must believe the positive thought and thus the key is to replace negative thoughts with thoughts that reflect reality and that are helpful.
The right kind of self-talk gives you an edge over competitors.
When you become aware of what you’re thinking and saying to yourself you can then edit and revise the snarky voices with phrases that empower you or at least help you better manage the situation at hand. The right kind of self-talk can keep you achieve your football goals.
Over the years, research has shown that self-talk can boost productivity, motivation and confidence, and even help regulate emotions. There is robust evidence that self-talk strategies facilitate learning and enhance performance.
You can learn more of those self-talk strategies form my “An Athlete’s Guide to Peak Performance Series – Building Confidence.”
The Building Confidence workbook will teach you, how you may be hurting your confidence and gives you instructions for changing your behavior in ways that will help you reach peak performance.
To build your confidence you must change the way you think.
A 100% of the time it is 90% mental.
Confidence is a mind-set skill that doesn’t just happen by chance. You must work at it.
To build your confidence, specific strategies are required. These strategies can be found in my workbook – An Athlete’s Guide to Peak Performance Series– Building Confidence
Go to sportspsychologybasketball.com. Click products and get started on Building Your Confidence with Sports Performance Top Mental Game Coach.