Gaining, or regaining, confidence is critical to long term success and satisfaction for a player. Many young players take confidence for granted. Their belief, or “knowing”, that they have the ability to perform is taken for granted. It isn’t until their normal levels of success are challenged do they realize that confidence is elusive, temporary, and intangible. This is where the great players separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Great players gain control of their thoughts and emotions and commit to staying confident — despite their recent poor performance. When hit by failure, poor players begin to make excuses, blame others, and seek confidence in the form of new putters,drivers, and state-of-the-art swing aids.
Success fuels confidence. One of the most effective strategies to boost confidence is to succeed. This may mean enrolling in a tournament or match that will allow for success, setting playing goals that are attainable, or making the point to consciously recognize progress as it occurs. If a player is waiting for his competitors to feed his confidence, he’ll be waiting a long, long time.
Confidence is an inside game. Successful players, young or old, learn to turn that mysterious and elusive thing called “confidence” into something tangible and real. Confidence becomes their caddy. Confidence is the key compound in the head of their putter. Confidence is wound tightly into their ball. Confidence is in the crunch of their snack at the turn… a bright-red, luscious apple. Crunch!
Make sure your self talk boosts your confidence. Always tell yourself, “I can, I will.”
In Another’s Words…
“Confidence is the most important single factor in this game, and no matter how great your natural talent, there is only one way to obtain and sustain it; work.”
– Jack Nicklaus, golfer
Developing Confidence to Become an Elite Tennis Player
Sport Psychology for Athletes, Coaches, and Parents
Kids Sports & Recreation: Building Confidence/Assertion