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Confidence Is King!

Confidence is a critical attribute that can help individuals succeed in all aspects of life. It can help people take risks, tackle challenges, and overcome obstacles. However, many people struggle with confidence and often feel overwhelmed by self-doubt and anxiety.

Confidence is crucial in sports for several reasons:

First, confidence enhances an athlete's performance by optimizing focus and determination, allowing them to execute their skills with precision. Confident athletes have a strong belief in their ability to perform, and they desire moments in which they can showcase their abilities.

I was an offensive coordinator for a high octane, no huddle and explosive offense one year. In our first 3 games we averaged over 49 points a game, we never needed to punt, and our starters never played in the 4th quarter.

The Monday after our 3rd game, our offensive line coach shared with me one of our player’s concerns. The coach told me one of our receivers, Gino, was annoyed by the lack of touches he was getting per game. To Gino's defense, he had every right to be annoyed with me… even livid!

Gino was a total package wide receiver: fast, great hands, great route runner, great blocker and a homerun threat every time he touched the ball.

So, why wasn’t I getting him the touches?

At the time, our run game was so explosive and dominant that I didn’t see much need to throw the ball during this part of the season. Our tailback, Fletcher, was averaging over 15 yards a carry after 3 games and it seemed like the safe option.

But it was the wrong option.

After hearing about Gino’s concerns, I was upset that he was thinking about himself and not the team. With that in mind, I knew I had to talk to him, because he was a team leader and I didn’t want to lose his focus.

When I met with GIno to clear things up he gave me exactly what was on his mind. Gino confidently explained, “I know I can help this team more than just blocking on run plays. I can stretch the field and make plays in space. I can really help our offense so we don’t have to depend on Fletcher so much.”

I was blown away by his response. I went into this conversation thinking he was being selfish, but it turns out all of his reasoning was team centered…and he meant it.

Gino’s confidence not only illuminated the fact that he needed to be more involved in the offense, but it inspired me to get our other pass catchers involved more too. We shouldn’t put the weight of our offense on our running back when we have weapons all over the field.

After that conversation, we made a concentrated effort to utilize the pass game. We had to prepare for teams that were more stout against the run. We needed to be balanced.

Unfortunately, we found out the hard way how important balance is in football. Our running back, Fletcher was injured on the first play of our 7th game. We lost him for the season.

Guess who stepped up and showed that he was a force to be reckoned with? That’s right…Gino. Gino went on to be the MVP of the entire league and pretty much dominated every game. Not only did he catch a ton of passes, he also rushed for over 1,100 yards in just 6 games as a running back.

Gino’s confidence gave him courage to speak up to his coaches and it also reflected in his play.

Confidence also helps athletes overcome adversity, enabling them to bounce back from setbacks and perform under pressure. Moreover, it fosters a positive mindset, empowering athletes to believe in their abilities and take risks, leading to innovation and breakthrough performances. Confidence is contagious and inspires teammates, creating a cohesive and motivated environment. Finally, it cultivates resilience and mental toughness, enabling athletes to persevere through challenges and maintain consistency. Overall, confidence is a vital ingredient for success in sports, fueling athletes to push their limits and achieve greatness.

Below, we will explore some strategies that can help individuals develop confidence.

1. Practice Self-Affirmations

One effective way to develop confidence is to practice self-affirmations. This involves reminding oneself of positive qualities, skills, and achievements. It can be as simple as repeating positive statements such as "I am capable," "I am smart," or "I will dominate." By focusing on positive qualities, individuals can build self-esteem and develop a more positive self-image.

2. Celebrate Small Achievements

Set big goals and break them down into smaller projects or tasks to build confidence. Celebrating these smaller milestones can help individuals build confidence and momentum towards their larger goal.

3. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Stepping outside of one's comfort zone can be a scary but rewarding experience. It can help individuals develop new skills, gain new experiences, and overcome fears. By challenging oneself to try new things, individuals can build confidence and self-esteem.

4.Take Your L’s, as “Learning” Experiences

Losing is a natural part of the learning process, and individuals should not be discouraged by it. Instead, they should embrace losses as learning opportunities and use them to grow and develop. By reflecting on past failures, individuals can identify areas for improvement and develop strategies for success.

5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

Surrounding oneself with positive and supportive people can help build confidence. Being around people who encourage, support, and uplift can create a positive atmosphere and help individuals develop a more positive self-image. Positive people can also offer valuable feedback and advice, helping individuals to grow and develop.

6. Practice Self-Care

Self-care is an essential aspect of building confidence. Taking care of oneself physically and emotionally can help individuals feel more confident and self-assured. Self-care can include things like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and practicing mindfulness.

In conclusion, developing confidence is a process that takes time and effort. By practicing self-affirmations, celebrating small achievements, getting comfortable being uncomfortable, learning from losses, surrounding oneself with positive people, and practicing self-care, individuals can develop the confidence they need to succeed in all aspects of life. Confidence is not something that can be acquired overnight, but with patience and persistence, individuals can build the self-assurance they need to achieve their goals.

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