This article is written for the purpose of practitioners and performers in facilitating self-confidence levels. In practice, the 12 point self-confidence plan is a useful tool. This self-confidence plan is a set of statements that can be used to help increase self-confidence levels and or maintain high levels of confidence throughout performance.
1) Self-belief is important for any performer. Therefore practitioners must display both verbally and through body language belief in their own performers. Without this self belief performers will invariably struggle.
2) Performers must be coached in the art of replacing negative thoughts with positive statements. Positive thoughts increases the likelihood of increased self-confidence over time.
3) Performers must be offered encouragement at all times. Examples relate to accomplishing tasks whether they are physical, technical or increasing mental mind-set.
4) Control is an important aspect that is important for self-confidence. It is the responsibility of practitioners to make performers believe in control. It is advocated that performers must be coached in the art of controlling the controllables and not to pay attention to factors outside their control.
5) The practice of continuous mental preparation is integral for performers to allow increases in self-confidence. For example, practitioners should advocate simple mental skills such as goal-setting and positive self-talk to help increase confidence.
6) Encouragement should be provided to performers by practitioners to allow them to understand and recall previous success. It would be advisable for performers to distinguish between positive and negative behaviour from past performances and to see the difference between the two.
7) Performers need to be aware that their performance levels must be consistent in order to achieve and maintain good levels of self-confidence.
8) Understanding performance levels and becoming self reflective in a constructive manner will enable performers to increase levels of self-confidence. For example, it would be advisable to set short-term process goals as they help increase confidence levels more effectively.
9) Following training or competitive performance, the performer should reflect positively about their own performance levels. The practitioner is pivotal in this area. Each performer should be provided with positive statements to help foster increased self-confidence.
10) The use of goal-setting to help increase performance levels and support self-confidence is important. There are a range of goals that could be implemented. Short-term and process related goals should be set. These type of goals provide immediate feedback as opposed to long-term goals that are too far in the future.
11) Performers must respect themselves and not be too harsh on their own performance levels. Practitioners need to avoid using harsh language and instead become self-critical where required. However, through being self-critical performers should be provided with effective action plans in order to stabilise self-confidence levels.
12) Training and competition should be about enjoyment and fulfilment. Therefore, performers need to focus on their goals and their ability and not be distracted by negative thoughts. This would support natural increases in self-confidence.
In summary, the purpose of this article was to advocate 12 points in helping increase levels of self confidence amongst performers. The points made above could be utilised by practitioners at all levels throughout sport and is not solely earmarked for one certain level.
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About Gobinder Gill
Gobinder is a lecturer in Sport Psychology and Research Methods at Birmingham Metropolitan College in the West Midlands.