I AM THE GREATEST. I SAID THAT BEFORE I EVEN KNEW I WAS.
To me, belief is the most fundamental building block of action. We can want to do something, we can plan to do something, but if we don’t believe we are capable of doing it, we never will. Who is going to exert time, money, and effort on something they don’t believe they can do? Who is going to continue going when their body is telling them to stop, when their legs and feet hurt, and their lungs are screaming? Those people who, with all of their being, are confident that they are capable of overcoming the obstacle in front of them, and any hindrance they will encounter.
How Confidence Helps 1
Concentration: If you're confident, you don't worry about potential failures or consequences of poor performance. You are better able to concentrate on the task at hand, and focus all of your energy on that task.
Goal-setting: If you're confident you can achieve your goals, you set more challenging goals and push yourself. Remember in goal setting, "realistic but achievable." That means something very different for a confident athlete than it does for an athlete lacking confidence.
Effort: If you think you can do something, you're more likely to put the necessary effort into completing it.If you don't think you can do it, why would you push yourself?
Psychological momentum: Confidence breeds more confidence. If you succeed, you get on a sort of "roll," leading to increased confidence, and better performances.
Confidence vs. Efficacy
Sources of Self-Confidence1
Demonstration of Ability: Think back on past successes in your sport. Think about times you've performed to the best of your ability, and outperformed opponents. This is a great place to get confidence.
Physical and Mental Prep: You spent all the time training your body and mind for competition, so you should feel prepared! The harder you work in practice, the more ready you will feel when the time comes to perform in a game.
Social Support: This can be family, friends, or teammates. Surround yourself with people who believe in you.
Coaches' Leadership: Trust your coaches. If you don't have confidence in your coaches, you won't have confidence that they're putting you in the best position to succeed.
Vicarious Experience: Watch your teammates perform successfully. If they can do a certain move, you can too!
Environmental Comfort: To perform at a high level, you must feel comfortable in the environment. This is a big part of why a home-field advantage helps. If you have an away game, get there early, and get comfortable.
Situational Favorableness: Sometimes when you're on, you're really on. Everything seems to be going your way. Draw on this, and use it to your advantage.