CARVER Coaching & Performance Newsletter

Hi, Paul here,

I hope this finds you well. This week’s topic is:

Sources of Sports Confidence

A few bits

Today we will start with the CARVER Insight; some weeks I feel it is better placed at the start…

CARVER Insight

Much of my work with coaches who are striving for performance involves adding detail to their practice. One thing I know for sure about coaching is that: The Devil is in the Detail!

A common mistake coaches can make is that they confuse oversimplifying things with

simplifying things. A recurring friction point at the beginning of my working relationship

with a coach is that they think I am making it too complex, while I think I am simply making it simple😊. Detail is important; the players don’t need to know all the detail, but the prudent ambitious coach does. In truth, it can be quite alarming the lack of detail coaches can have in their practice.

A line I often use is, “there was never a coach who bought a tracksuit or a whistle, who didn’t want their players: working harder, making less mistakes, enjoying it, bla bla bla.” This is not a USP in coaching; there is nothing unique here. The key point of difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is… detail. So what do I mean by detail?

If ‘The What’ is making your players work harder, ‘The How’ is where the detail lies. Firstly, can you objectively define what is ‘hard work’; quite often you find this concept is extremely vague and ill defined. Secondly can you profile the qualities/ capacities the player will need in order to ‘work hard’? What are the: physical, technical, tactical, mental and emotional qualities? Next can we establish a baseline through grading the player in each of these qualities? Now the question becomes… where do they need to improve?

When we figure this out, the next questions become: what work do they need to do in this area and who can help them… you see where I’m going…. Detail!!! Obviously you will need help with all this but again part of coaching involved gathering good people around you and empowering them.

When we work through this process it looks incredibly simple at the end i.e. This is what they are working on in order to ‘work hard’. It’s common sense really.

As I continue to build out CARVER Coaching and Performance across sport, workplace and education domains I continue to explain to those that help me that our two USP’s are that: we make our stuff as simple as possible but no simpler, and that our stuff makes sense.

Simple but not easy!

Sources of Sport Confidence

Confidence is a product of one’s beliefs about themselves and how they see the world. Developing a belief that one has the prerequisite skills, and the mindset that the world is a place for them to grow and develop, are key prerequisites to developing confidence. However, key to all this is understanding where to cultivate these beliefs from. Below we list the sources of sport confidence and how you can tap into these on a weekly basis in order to feel confident and self-assured going into competition.

Mastery Experiences: Past successes and skill mastery create a profound sense of self-assurance. Repeating these achievements validates our self-belief, enhancing overall confidence. Visualising or journaling about past success or practicing certain skills before competition may be helpful here.

Vicarious Experiences: Confidence can be cultivated by observing others’ success and realising that if they can do it, so can we. Role models and peers who excel serve as proof that seemingly unattainable goals can be reached. The trick is to try and see what others do so well and strive to emulate these qualities in yourself.

Social Persuasion: Encouragement, constructive feedback, and praise from coaches, teammates, and supporters boost confidence. External validation reinforces self-belief. Surround yourself with people who share your vision and goal.

Emotional and Psychological States: A positive emotional and psychological state is integral to self-perception – “Feel good, play good”. Achieving focus, motivation, and resilience is key to our perception of our abilities. Developing strategies to lift your emotional state positively impacts confidence.

Physical and Technical Preparation: Being physically fit and having a deep understanding of one’s role instils confidence. Knowing that your preparation has been thorough boosts self-belief and assurance. “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.

Physical Self-Presentation: Projecting a positive self-image through body language, posture, and tone of voice impacts both self-perception and how others perceive us. Feeling good about our presentation bolsters confidence. Practice maintaining these qualities through times of adversity and see what impact it has on you.

Mental Preparation: Mentally rehearsing skills through visualization enhances skill performance and readiness. Visualising successful task completion, including associated emotions and self-efficacy, is a very potent tool for boosting confidence and skill performance.

Understanding these sources of sports confidence enables coaches and athletes to strategically nurture self-belief and self-efficacy, essential for conquering challenges and achieving peak performance. By applying this information to oneself through journaling, individuals can identify ways for them to consistently perform at their best in competitive environments.



Copyright Paul Kilgannon 2021
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