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Enhancing Self Confidence

Enhancing Self Confidence

Confidence is a player’s belief in their ability to perform well in any situation, practice or game. Confidence is derived from a baseline assessment of past performances, training, and preparation. As competency or skill mastery grows, your confidence becomes proportionately stronger. In order for players to develop high levels of confidence, they must have a clear understanding of the factors that boost and undermine their confidence, such as high expectations.

Confidence is a core mental game skill because of its importance and relationship to other mental skills. Harvey Dorfman (2005) describes confidence as a mindset based on tangible sources such as one’s past success in sports. Athletes derive confidence from one or more of the following three sources:

1. From practice
2. From what other people say or do
3. From immediate past performance

It is important to mention these sources because in order to enhance confidence athletes have to a clear understanding of their source of confidence. Many athletes believe that confidence comes from past success, playing well or positive experiences in their sport. Confidence also varies depending on the task you are performing. For example baseball players may be very confident in their hitting, but less confident with their defensive play. Doubt, indecision and negative thoughts are the opposite of confidence.

If athletes maintain doubts prior to or during their performance, this indicates low self-confidence. One intervention is by refuting doubts and instilling a positive/confident belief system. Another intervention to enhance confidence is helping athletes developing a confidence resume of all the reasons an athlete as to feel confident. This entails athletes taking control of their confidence level and being proactive with their confidence.


  1. help me get in ‘the zone’ :)

  2. I have a daughter who is very very good at basketball – she works out with a great trainer who pushes her and she responds great . . . at practice. She loves playing and has a goal to play college but when it comes to translating to “game time” she is just on that edge of exploding on the court (she actually has done it once and was phenominal). She is so worried that she is going to make a mistake, and when she makes a mistake she’s worried that she’s let her team down or her coach. I asked if she felt she was under too much pressure and she said no – she’s just psyching herself out. Are there people that she can talk to / work with on getting through this mental block?


    • I will send you an email response with further information. You can find some information about our programs using the link below:

  3. Mike,

    I am in the same exact situation as VW. To go a step further, she will get into the game and for lack of a better term, she forgets what she knows how to do. I am not sure where her mind is but from her comments she is so unsure of the perfect next thing to do, she ends up doing nothing. Keep in mind she has been performing at a varsity level since 7th grade and now this year as 9th, she looks like someone invaded her body and stole all of her talent like in the movie Space Jam.

    Thx for any direction or guidance here

    • Encourage her to go back to the basics. She needs to trust her talent and preparation. Athletes tend to over think when they arent focused in the presents moment the “what do I need to do right now to perform successfully.” Feel free to email me with more information and I would be happy to help! Respectfully, Mike

  4. I have read the comments above and they describe my son who is a high school wrestler’s symptoms exactly. Last year my son placed 3rd at the state championships and really went on a good run towards the end of the season but this year he is struggling to find himself. He told me the other day he lost his confidence and as a parent I want to help him.

    Anything you can suggest will be greatly appreciated and I realize this is not a short term fix more a daily regime.


  5. It’s very effortless to find out any matter on net as compared to books, as I found this paragraph at this site.

  6. I have a daughter who is a freshman softball pitcher. She has an extensive career under her belt with both middle school sports and summer travel ball. She has basically been the go to pitcher in our area since she was 9 years old. Always accurate and very effective. She has regularly been recruited by various summer softball teams outsife our area because of her pitching ability. To sums things up about her freshman year- SHE LOST IT. It’s as if she has no clue on the mound. Opposing coaches and umpires are seeking us out regularly to ask us what is wrong with her. A former great pitcher is now hitting batters and regularly issuing walks. When we ask her, the response is- idk what’s wrong with me. I’m practicing regularly but I’m not able to fix it because I can’t identify the problem. We are at a loss and our family is suffering because this is so far from our normal. Please help!

  7. Hi,

    I’m in desperate need also. My daughter is in the same situation, played at a very high level of travel ball. Was being recruited by top 50 team in the nation. Travel ball and high school she didn’t hit players, had 8-12 strike outs per game. ERA was low and very rarely did she walk players. In highest level in high school as a freshman to senior year she hit 9- 12 home runs a year. Now she doesn’t bat because she pitches and now she rarely pitches because she walks players. They pitch her maybe 2-3 innings and shes out, coach put in girls they haven’t played much and the confidence of the team is not very high, and then fielding errors occur they pull her for that.
    She is playing for a D1 school and gets yelled at when this happens. How can we as parents get mentally tougher on the mound and get them to get in the zone. Please help, she is ready to give it all up.

    • Hi Pam,

      I will email you shortly with some resources that should help but I would need further details and information in order to outline the best approach to your daughters situation. You should have her download the free mental game report on getting in the zone if you haven’t already. It is located in the bottom section of our home page and article sidebars.

  8. Hi, my son is a talented athlete and we’ve always made sure to talk to him after games or practices. We’ll touch basis on good efforts and what he can so to improve. Unfortunately with the teams he’s been on, he’s the better player and has been asked by his coaches to not throw as hard because his teammates can’t catch the ball. He’s been benched to allow the older boys more game time because they needed the confidence since they’ve never played before. With all the poor experiences that he’s had to endure, his skills have regressed, he lacks the confidence that he once possed and now is on a team with bigger players who have more advanced skills. How can I instill better confidence in hopes that he doesn’t lose his drive? Unfortunately his dad has not always been on the same page as me and has focused more on the negative than the positiveso I’m trying to counteract that as well. Please help?

    Thank you in advance!

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