Confidence Building in the modern age of NFL
Where the hits are big, the athleticism and the technical prowess of the players is next to none, it is truly one of the toughest sports on the planet. Even with the college level football you can see how high the standards are in the game. Now take a topic like confidence, which is a topic well reserached and talked about, however, an area of the game that is rarely taught to athletes. It is often assumed once you reach high level sport you are always incredibly confident. However, the very nature of sport challenges and acts to disrupt performance, this can be crippling for many athletes…..
Psychology has gone some way to understanding the structures that exist, I could talk about resilience, grit, determination, spirit amongst many structures researched today that can be both positive or debilitating for the athlete. On a higher level recognising that a structure can be a thought or displayed in the typical behaviour (which often is influenced by beliefs) has an organizing principle, this is known as an ‘intention’. By breaking down this principle you can find different ways of meeting this ‘intention’ other than the way that is sustaining the problem. You start to challenge the underlying structure to give meaning and coherence to behaviours on the pitch.
Remember the confidence idea can be affected in multiple ways by coaches feedback, poor performances, significant training sessions, lifestyles, the media, all result in some form of evaluation by the athlete. So if their is a barrier and you want to uncover a deeper understanding of the experience use the 6 steps below to help you move forwards……
- How specifically do you want to be confident about yourself? (e.g. do you want to be confident in your ability to win the game, catching the ball, kicking goals etc..)
- How are you behaving/performing now in relation to your previous answer?
- Which belief specifically sustains this behaviour?
- What’s the purpose/intention of this belief (what do you get)?
- Repeat question 4 until the answer gets to a level where the desired behaviour could be easily generated – for example,”a calm mind allowed easily for accurate kicking”. Also, check the answer is stated in the positive (i.e. what it is instead of what it’s not e.g. ‘don’t miss shot’ may become ‘hit the target’) and where choice is opened up.
- Devise alternative ways of directly meeting the intention stated in 5 and rehearse them until they are natural..
These questions are one of the ways to help break down the higher level order of structures and assist an athlete to understand their situation and to provide alternative ways to deal with problems. A technique I have used for years to help take the information you learn in the above questions to the next level was visualization training. Learn the secrets to how to effectively visualize, understand what specifically to do and when to apply the variations in my exclusive free online workshop, click here. This is a unique series filmed to assist any athlete at any level towards excellence…….