Sports in Society
Laura Ann Giraldi Sports in Society Sports Psychology: Self -- Confidence in
Sport Activity November 21, 1996
Sports Psychology is one of the most up and coming sciences of the
present time. This practice focuses on training athletes to use their mental
capacities along with their physical talent to reach what is known as peak
performance. Sports Psychologists analyze the performance of athletes and use
motivational, cognitive, and behavioral principles to teach them peak
performance levels. Sixty to ninety percent of success in sports is due to
mental factors and psychological mastery. Sensing the importance of mental
training in recent years, scientists have developed mental training programs.
These programs all vary in technique, however, they all include skills focused
on mastering the art of self-confidence. There are considerable amounts of
evidence in sports literature that there is a direct correlation between self-
confidence and peak performance.
Self-confidence exists in all walks of life. It is defined as: the
strong relationships between a person's thoughts, feelings, and behavior which
if motivated correctly can help an individual excel with confidence in anything
they try to do. Most of the time self-confidence is viewed in accordance with
how well an athlete performs at a certain sport activity. To examine this
further one must look at how an athlete prepares themselves before the task in
order to understand how their self-confidence reigns so high when it comes time
for them to actually compete. An athlete must trust what enables them to
build their self-confidence.
(2) To start, an athlete needs to know themselves and what their limitations are.
Through personal experience an athlete will know what they are capable of
doing, and also what challenges them. From such personal experiences an athlete
can recall past success as well as past failures. Therefore, an athlete must
strive off that knowledge of past success to reassure themselves that they have
done it once, and that they can do it again.
All is easier said then done. Building self-confidence can be one of the
hardest things an athlete has to do. This involves a great deal of mental
awareness and self-discipline. For it could take only one negative experience to
destroy an athlete's ego. This is when the process of filtering comes into play.
Filtering involves using negative experience in a positive way. More
specifically an athlete must look at such experiences carefully and learn from
them. They must not focus on the bad, but how it can help them in the future.
For example, a basketball player who missed a foul shot that could have won the
game must not view the experience as I am a loser; he must say “My foul shooting
needs a little help.” In turn, this athlete should take a little time before and
after practice to drill this technique. By doing this he...