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“Whether you think you can or you don’t, you’re right.”

-Henry Ford

Self-confidence is the interpretation you make of yourself in certain areas of your life and, of course, it also has a big impact on how you see yourself as an athlete. Based on your past experiences, the comments of others and the comparison with others, one builds a self-image and acts accordingly. In short, you are unconsciously labeling yourself, limiting your potential, relying on external elements, and losing focus on the present moment.

Be open about your possibilities.

However, there is good news: confidence can be trained.

It is like any other muscle and needs work and patience to develop.

How? Ideally, confidence should be a stable, self-controlled variable. If you look outside for proof of your worth, you may crash: the outside world is changeable and we have little control over it.

You have to find a balance between external and internal reinforcement.  If you become aware of your thoughts, emotions and actions, you will develop your self-confidence more effectively.

Balance the intrinsic and extrinsic reinforcement.

Dimensions of Confidence

Self-confidence in sport is aided by the attainment, learning and achievement of certain skills. These are:

Fitness and training: workouts help improve your fitness, but they also demonstrate the results of discipline and consistency. They teach you that what you thought was impossible at first is not. That gives you incredible confidence to keep improving yourself, both physically and mentally.

The training improves the physique… and the mind.

Psychological Skills: to overcome the training, unconsciously, you have had to rely on mental resources you have: either your reinforcing dialogue, your “obsession” to overcome, or your full concentration in the moment. Athletes innately use a technique to disassociate themselves from pain and suffering in order to move forward. You must also recognize that the coach and teammates bring great value to your performance, but you have to know how to see it and recognize it, be humble. The outside can help you overcome.  It all depends on how you interpret that information from the outside.

Be open to outside help.

-Adaptability: training is not the same as a competition, so it is necessary to adapt to each situation, make certain changes in thinking, manage physiological self-regulation well and rely on resilient skills. If you do MINDSET work for different situations, you will become more and more comfortable and gain that “I can and I will do it” confidence.

The more you train the psyche, the easier it will be.

 –Learning: Sport is learning. Master the techniques and strategies that each sport encompasses and, as you learn, you will achieve a higher level of execution. This will give you a confidence that will strengthen you as a person when it comes to emotionally and cognitively manage sports situations of any kind. The opportunities to learn are diverse: with the help of your coach, through contact with your peers or even by watching videos.

The more techniques you learn, the more confidence you gain.

This is a basic description of the concept of self-confidence and the variables that help or hinder sports performance. Realize that, in your day-to-day life and through your actions, you are already building your self-confidence. DO NOT despise your efforts and achievements so far, value them!

Value what you have achieved.

How to work on self-confidence?

Now that you know the dimensions of confidence, let’s focus on how we can help our confidence in front of training schedule, a competition, an opposition or even a job interview….

Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Speak to yourself in positive, reinforcing terms: it is about you saying words to yourself that help you to be confident. Language is decisive and influences our emotional state. If you have thoughts of doubt such as: “I don’t know how I’ll do, it’s not my best moment…”, you will usually end up feeling small. You can choose how you talk to yourself, focus your attention on the task at hand and be kind to yourself.

Silence your negative voice.

  1. Work on your vision of yourself: daily visualize your best version of yourself, achieving your goals, using all your senses, and live that moment. Reprograph yourself, anchor that image with a gesture and, in the situation you need that reminder, use the gesture you have anchored, relive it and act as you have imagined it.

Create a “powerful image” and use it in case of emergency.

  1. Do not compare yourself: no one is more or less than you. Focus on the present moment, on you, your capabilities, your strengths and your moment. Remember: you have worked hard to get where you are.

Don’t compare yourself.

 4.No expectations: focus on the present moment, as it is the only thing you have. Focus on the footprint, the breath, the environment, the scenery, your teammates, the rocks, your legs and the stroke. Enjoy it.

No expectations.

5.Learn from failures: You may not get it right the first time, but that doesn’t mean you have failed. Maybe you just have to find another perspective on the problem and try again. Again and again, until you find the solution. In the process, don’t self-sabotage, it doesn’t help the solution.


6. The only approval you need is your own, but of course… don’t be too demanding or perfectionist with yourself. A little compassion, please.

Don’t beat yourself up.

   7. Your thoughts are not always true. Don’t listen to the negative, divert those thoughts that are useless to you and focus on the here and now.

Question your negative thoughts.

  8. Set goals that you can achieve, be flexible and try again. Remember the SMART Method: goals, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Focus on small steps, as each step you take will give you more confidence.

Sensible goals.

  9. Work on the memory of your successes: look for those moments where you felt strong, in the FLOW. Sometimes we focus so much on what we don’t have or what we don’t achieve, that we forget about those successes already achieved and our strengths.

Remember your successes.

  10. Make internal attributions about what you are achieving: your efforts, your discipline, your perseverance, your motivation? These are the internal attributions, what you contribute to your sporting and personal growth.

Reward your successes.

11. Accept what you cannot change and strive for what you can: accepting does not mean resigning yourself, on the contrary. By accepting things as they come, we take responsibility for what does depend on us.

Focus on what is achievable.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate and contact me, it would be a pleasure!

Have a nice day!

Logotipo Marisa Richelle


-Train your MINDSET  to SHINE-

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