Fellow coach Garret Kramer wrote a great article last week on confidence and I highly recommend reading it here
He wrote about the true source of confidence and how virtually everyone gets its source back to front.
And only this week I was asked to help out some skiers who’d ‘lost their confidence’, as if it was a possession they’d mislaid, or didn’t own in the first place, and my job was to help them find it again.
Truth be told, no-one and no-thing brings confidence as the real source isn’t from someone, or something.
Confidence can’t be taught by anyone, and in skiing never comes from the weather, the snow, the skis, the mood you’re in, other people, getting out of the wrong side of bed or whatever you wish to make up. You see, confidence doesn’t come from ‘outside’ of us, nor our circumstances. Confidence is a consequence of having a clear mind.
And really, confidence is a just a description we use for having a clear mind Just as stress, anxiety, worry are all descriptions of an unclear mind. In skiing as in any sport, with a clear mind you’re in the flow and you perform at your best, whatever level you are at. With an unclear mind, you stiffen, struggle, over-analyse, tense-up, stress, worry, get self-conscious and it all becomes too much, and your performance goes a bit off base.
Ask any athlete who’s lost an event, they say things like: my head (meaning their mind) was all over the place. Or, I had too much on my mind. Or, I wasn’t feeling in the best mindset. Or, my mind was distracted.
And ask any athlete after they’ve won an event what was going on and they’ll say something like: my mind was really clear, I knew exactly what to do. I was feeling really good/confident. And as we are always feeling our thinking – and clear thinking comes from a clear mind – they performed at their best.
Confidence always comes from within us, and always exists within us, and it’d be there all the time, but for our (over-) thinking. Which is pretty cool as it means we are always a thought away from it coming back. Not that it went anywhere in the first place 😉