1. Set Training Standards

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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.

Focus on Improvement

The most significant sport confidence that you can have is belief in your ability to get better at rugby. Don't judge yourself in relation to how other players are doing. Instead, focus on areas of your game in which you have improved and areas of your game in which you would like to improve. See chapter 2 on the performance profile for information about how to identify areas of your game that you would like to improve.

Develop Persistence

Regularly carry out position-specific practice in which you focus on specific elements of your game (e.g., lineout throwing, catching high balls, kicking, and so on). Developing these skills will set you apart from other players who play in your position. Ensure that you enter each training session with something that you want to practise and improve, such as your agility, strength, or kicking.

Mental Preparation

Prepare for all possible outcomes. Mentally prepare for optimal performance. Plan what you want to happen and visualise yourself being successful. For more information, see chapter 3 on preparation and chapter 6 on imagery. In addition, consider what could go wrong and work out how you will respond to it. That way, no surprises will occur during a match.

Self-Acceptance

Honour yourself no matter what and do not be too critical. If you have done the right things in the build-up to a match and given your all, then you have no need to be self-critical. Remember that you will always have another chance.

Physical Self-Presentation

Always display a confident demeanour, regardless of any mistakes that you make and especially after you make a mistake. Never reveal to your opponents that mistakes affect your confidence, even though internally it may have caused you stress. For instance, if a full back drops a high ball, his or her shoulders may drop. The player may look at the ground and display negative body language. The opposition team may then target that player. You should try to exude confidence at all times in these ways:

Keep your shoulders pushed back. This action forces your chest and torso out. Your torso is vulnerable, but your posture demonstrates power and shows that you are not afraid of any confrontation.


Always look straight ahead. If you make a mistake such as dropping a ball or giving away a penalty, do not look at the ground. Continue to look ahead and keep your chin up.


Walk with a purpose during breaks in the game.


Communicate clearly with teammates by maintaining the volume in which you would normally speak to them.

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