Published on June 4th, 2012 | by Kamikaze Kitten0
Kamikaze Kitten by Derek Bremner
The C Word
Today we’re talking about the C word.
What a slippery beast.
It’s only recently that the issue of Confidence has come to my attention.
If I’m honest, I think I always worried that confidence equated complacency in athletes. That the more confidence that you had, the less motivated you were to work hard.
What an idiot.
Lacking confidence in yourself and your own abilities, or those of your team and teammates just creates additional hesitation and delayed action in your game.
I think I even got a little superstitious about it. Believing that every time I played a bout, as long as I didn’t go in thinking that we’d win, we’d react and adapt to whatever the opposition threw at us. I always took a few jams to ‘warm up to the opposition’ and would then start refining my gameplay according to how they were playing. I thought that this lack of confidence was HELPING me play better. It was only recently that I realised that the moment in a game when the opposition doesn’t feel like they are flawlessly-perfect-derby-machines was actually the trigger my self-confidence needed in order to help me to play at 100%. That it wasn’t the lack of confidence going into the game that gave me the edge, it was the feelings of “I’ve got this” that happened out there on the track.
Ever since this revelation, I’ve also been super keen to see the confidence in my teammates rocket too.
You see, I can be pretty tough to be around sometimes. I want perfection. I want to execute strategy flawlessly. I want us to be the best. And when you have your eyes set so closely on that, it’s easy to forget that it can make others feel like they don’t measure up. You can forget to celebrate all the progression, and you can forget to praise others for their hard work because you’re busy beating yourself up for what you’ve done wrong. When sometimes others look up to you as being better than them (rightly or wrongly) and you’re busy stressing about not being good enough, that just makes them feel even worse.
Perhaps it’s because I’m British, the land where confidence is often mistaken for arrogance, but I feel really self conscious about having a desire to be confident in myself. I realise that last statement is a classic example of that very conundrum…
So the question is, how can you increase your confidence, yet keep your motivation to work hard?
You need goals. Realistic goals. Little steps to take that lead towards your ultimate goals of being the best player you can be. You need to look at your areas of weakness and give yourself actionable tasks that will make a difference to those weak areas. If you sit there listing all the things you’re not perfect at (and who IS perfect?) then you’re going to lose any motivation to get your butt to practice. Make sure that you give yourself small steps for improvement so that you can get excited about getting better. Your confidence will grow as you take ownership of your own development. If you are really stuck and don’t know HOW to overcome something, then ask a teammate or someone that you admire that already does that thing pretty well. For best results, don’t just email them saying “hey, how do I get better?” but rather “hey, I want to get better at XXXXX, got any tips for me? Can we buddy up for 10 minutes at training next week?” Don’t pass the buck on your own development because then you’ll become reliant on everyone else MAKING you better, rather than have that sense of achievement from hauling yourself up your own hill.
And don’t forget the high fives. We ALL need more high fives.
For more fabulous advice from Kamikaze Kitten, visit her blog here: http://www.kamikazekitten.co.uk.