Confidence comes and goes, it ebbs and flows and is a huge determinant on performance. When high in confidence, players feel like they can do no wrong, yet when confidence is low, it can be so detrimental that athletes can become unrecognisable.
As a coach, there are numerous techniques to build you and your team's confidence and to protect against levels plummeting so low that you lose your identity. Discover these 5 simple techniques and pass them onto your team to get their self-belief piquing.
1. Set Training Standards
Why? Keep standards high at training; this includes punctuality, effort and body language. Maintain high standards and encourage the team to do the same so when it comes to game day, the players will feel confident about achieving their goals.
How? Be a role model and set the mark yourself, assign achievable goals during training to provide an aim and offer immediate feedback to make the team confident in their ability.
2. Encourage Visualisation
Why? Visualisation can be a great tool to utilise past experiences and recognise how to perform in new scenarios. Visualising before the game places your players in a situation allowing them to picture themselves achieving their goal, giving them the self-confidence to recreate it in the game.
How? Have them think of a potential upcoming situation in the game and then recall a similar experience of when they succeeded. Now, get them to visualise the upcoming game, picturing what a successful performance looks like and how to achieve it.
3. Promote Self-talk
Why? Let the team give each other confidence. By talking with teammates and/or the coach, it's easier for players recognise their strengths. When feelings of doubt creep in, players can turn to their feedback and create a positive thought pattern.
How? Either done in sessions or as a buddying system, individuals should establish their strengths. They should then identify a word or phrase to use before and during games to initiate a positive thought process.
4. Study Opponents
Why? Having a clear understanding of the opponent, how they play and identifying your teams strengths against the opponents weaknesses will build confidence. It will let them recognise what they can do personally to help the team and give a clear idea of how to approach the game with no surprises.
How? Look at specific areas where your team can exploit the opposition and come up with some clear tactics to take advantage. Clarity will give your players the confidence to carry out the game plan.
5. Provide Leadership Opportunities
Why? Leadership will evoke confidence within players. Give individuals the platform to take on responsibility and to offer feedback to the team. With leadership and responsibility comes pride in having opinions valued and in maintaining high levels in training and games, as a result increasing self-confidence.
How? During training, split into teams and assign leaders. When in groups, give players the responsibility of initiating discussions themselves, coming up with new ideas themselves and feeding back to the team.
Build confidence amongst your team with these 5 simple recommendations and give them the opportunity to recognise the athlete that they have the potential to be.
Print off your list of confidence building techniques today and hand them out at training to give your players a boost before the next match!