Many athletes struggle with lack of confidence, especially in adverse situations. They lack the belief to use their overlearned skills, trust in their training, or just plain “go for it” and as a result become tight and hesitant in their performance. Coaches often struggle to help these athletes despite their expertise in teaching their sport. Unfortunately, coaches are not always equipped to deal with the psychological dynamics that create decrements in confidence, including perfectionistic thinking, self-presentation concerns, self-handicapping, and in general, harmful patterns of thinking. This article will describe the patterns of thinking that are troublesome for sustaining high confidence in pressure situations, and important principles and strategies for enhancing the confidence of athletes’ in and out of competition. Often, helping athletes deal with their lack of confidence comes down to focusing on controllable aspects of preparation and performance, developing new patterns of thinking, challenging old, negative habits, and accepting that doubts are normal for the high-achieving athlete. The objective will be to provide coach educators an opportunity to expand their own knowledge of coaching athletes to include confidence and composure.
Nathan A. Reis, Kent C. Kowalski, Amber D. Mosewich and Leah J. Ferguson
Masculine Norms Inventory (CMNI-46; Parent & Moradi, 2009 ), ranging from 1 ( strongly disagree ) to 4 ( strongly agree ), and consisting of nine subscales (i.e., winning, emotional control, violence, primacy of work, risk-taking, heterosexual self-presentation, playboy, self-reliance, and power over women