Make Positive Choices
A simple choice like ordering a healthy sandwich versus greasy pizza not only impact your energy levels for training, but these choices can also solidify your total commitment and dedication to your craft. In making these types of positive choices, athletes begin to feel more responsible for, and in control, of their training - this leads to increased ownership and accountability, which are necessary to reach elite levels.
Ideas: 1) go to bed 30 minutes earlier each night instead of watching another tv show, 2) limit cell phone use an hour before bedtime, 3) make healthy choices when it comes to nutrition and hydration (water instead of soda, etc).
Self-Statements: "The positive choices I make each day make me stronger. My sacrifices are for a purpose and create a more professional attitude/mindset."
Do Something Extra Each Day
Confidence can emanate from the feeling that we are going above and beyond the regular training load. While the extra reps can positively impact your physical performance, this extra workload also can strengthen your commitment, motivation, and confidence in your skills. Create a "first on, last off" mentality; be consistent and train with intention.
Ideas: 1) stay an extra 30 minutes after practice to work on a specific skill, 2) commit to daily injury prevention work, 3) show up early and jump rope 15 minutes before practice, 4) set daily practice/training goals and evaluate your effort, attitude, and intention.
Self-Statements: "No one is going to outwork me. When everyone else is off, I am on. The extra reps are making me stronger."
Create a Plan, Build Trust
Confidence stems from trusting ones abilities, but also trusting the plan behind the journey. Few athletes have a development plan, which is a series of action steps and goals meant to further develop physical skills, mental/emotional skills, and tactical skills. Goal-setting is important, but there also needs to be tangible training methods aimed at achieving these goals. Create the "WHAT" and also the "HOW" - in doing so, you will have a road map of how to improve, which will also increase the trust you have in your training process. It is imperative that you not only know what type of player you are, but also the specific areas you are working on to achieve a higher level. Confidence will come from knowing exactly what you need to work on, as well as what areas have improved over the last few weeks and months.
Ideas: 1) write down 1-2 goals/needs for each primary performance domain (mental, physical, tactical, etc), along with specific ways you can improve these skills, 2) commit to a 5 minute post-practice reflection period to evaluate yourself on the primary performance domains.
Self-Statements: "Trust the process, trust the training. I know who I am and what I am working on - this drives me each day."