Psychology of How to Build Self-Confidence in Sports

How to Build Self-Confidence in Sports

The ability to build self-confidence in sports is the most important aspect of the life of an athlete. If you’re the kind of person who has that lingering glimmer of self-doubt. If ever you’ve wondered about a play you should have made but didn’t, a shot you should have taken but didn’t, the worst thing you can do about it is to let it get you down. If you’ve ever wondered if your self-confidence has let you down? The last thing you can do is worry about it. It happens to everyone. You just need to build your self-confidence in sports to improve your game.

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What makes to best players, the best is their ability to overcome their doubts and insecurities when they make a bad play and get back in the game as soon as possible. For this to happen, one needs to build self-confidence in their game. Self-confidence in sports goes deeper than just desire and perseverance. Not a lot, but the little more than it takes is so important, that talent and knowledge of the game will do you little good without it.

I think Vince Lombardi, the most quotable coach, said it best, ” It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

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“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.”

“Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.”

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It’s the choices you make after you get up that decides your fate. The choices you make decide how good of a player you want to become. They dictate how good you’re going to be. I’m sure you’re one that’s going to get back up and keep going but it’s how you keep going that’s important.

The choices you make here are indicative of whether you can build self-confidence in sports for yourself. Do you learn from your mistakes or no? If your pride more important than your confidence? Don’t confuse the two. They’re different. Pride is a display of confidence only. It’s not confidence in itself. It’s simply a display of confidence. Those trying to ‘fake it ’til they make it’ know this very well.

Unfortunately, that’s about all you can do with pride, Fake It Until You Make It. Real self-confidence in sports comes from knowledge, practice, desire, and perseverance.

  • Knowledge of your game
  • practice, practice, practice
  • the desire know more than your opponent
  • perseverance to pick yourself up even if only to get knocked back down again

Over the years, I have studied and developed many strategies and techniques for helping people to believe in themselves. When people feel positive about themselves, they tend to grow and are better able to have not just a better game, but a  richer and more rewarding life as well.

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Thanks to Dr. Albert Bandura, of Stanford University, four components or life experiences have been identified which contribute to building one’s self-confidence.

  1. Mastery Experiences-Having a history of doing well at some event, some skill or some task can help to grow your confidence in yourself. So, it is useful to remind yourself of times when you felt you mastered some task or some skill.
  2. Vicarious Learning-Seeing someone else who you can relate to do well at something or succeed at something can help you to believe that you, too, can succeed. A child seeing his friend hit a baseball can start to believe that he can put his bat on the ball with some power too.
  3. Modeling Someone Who Inspires You-When you see someone who you admire do something well, you can imitate his or her actions. Watching a singer perform a song brilliantly can inspire a young artist to do the same thing. This “modeling” can help to grow your self-confidence.
  4. Social Persuasion-Receiving encouraging words from a parent, a coach or someone you trust can help you to feel like you can do something successfully. This, too, can strengthen your self-confidence.

Unfortunately, people who do not get any of these kinds of experiences are likely to have little or no self-confidence.   So, if you want to build self-confidence in yourself, in someone you care about or your child, consider facilitating one or all of these kinds experiences. If you do, confidence can build in a short period of time but keep in mind, the more experience you get it the stronger it gets.


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If you’re serious about competing at your best, learn how to eat to be the best. If your food is tainted, your performance will be tainted. Feed yourself clean food and you can’t help but get a good performance out of it. It helps to read the first in the series, It’s Time for a Cure.

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