Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I got this from Coach Creighton Burns' most recent newsletter.  I am a big believer that practice is the singular most important developmental tool in the success or lack thereof with your team.  Obviously your ability to teach, instruct and motivate are important, but as Coach Burns points out, what are you doing in and with your practice format that helps develop confidence.  I believe that true confidence can only come from demonstrated performance so a well-thought out practice will finds ways to create areas where athletes can demonstrate success.  Here are some great pointers from Coach Burns:

Building and maintaining confidence is a daily practice. Here are some suggestions that apply to you as a coach AND can help your athletes build their confidence:

1. Be prepared! The more prepared you feel, the higher and more stable your confidence level. Make everything more precise: your practice plans, your diet, your game-day preparation and your sleep schedule.

2. Tune into your confidence formula. What kinds of practices make you feel the most confident? What drills? Is there a particular person whose advice gives you confidence?

3. Set realistic yet challenging goals. Have daily, weekly and monthly performance goals and keep a record of your results. These should be goals you have full control over – as opposed to winning and losing – which are not in your control.

4. Get fit! Top performers know the connection between feeling confident and being physically fit.

5. Build strong, supportive self-talk. Do this in the same way you build physical strength: through repetition.. Confidence is a FEELING – as such it is powerfully influenced by what you think, what you say to yourself and how you act! Negative or sloppy thinking tears away at precious confidence levels.

6. Learn from failures, then dump them. If you have a bad loss or practice, face it, take away whatever positive lessons you can, then forget about it. Leave the past failures behind. Don’t carry mistakes with you – correct them, then move on.