In the book Learning, Remembering, Believing: Enhancing Human Performance, it was stated that self-confidence is the “central mediating construct of achievement strivings.” It is both a motivator and a regulator of one’s behavior. In sports, it is a judgment of one’s ability to perform and accomplish a goal.
Sports Psychologist Dr. Jim Taylor says that confidence is the “single most important mental factor in sports” because if you don’t believe that you can perform well even if you have all the skills needed to achieve your goals, then you won’t be able to perform up to those abilities.
Further, Dr. Taylor says confidence is also a skill that can be learned and developed through “focus, effort, and repetition.” He recommends practicing good confidence skills, such as continuing to work hard even when things aren’t going as planned. One has to accept that failure may be experienced when there are new challenges and acknowledge that challenges are a necessary part of growth.
Another way to enhance self-confidence and reduce anxiety in athletes is practicing motivational self-talk, according to a study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise. Replacing negative self-talk with positive self-talk when training or competing enhances confidence.
Sports Psychology Today lists down three sources of confidence for athletes: 1. Practice 2. What other people say or do 3. From immediate past performance.
At a young age of 14, pro surfer Macy Callaghan Callaghan showed confidence when she told her local newspaper that she believes she will be a World Champion. A couple of years later, she was able to win a World Title and juggle her studies while winning competitions along the way.