Ski coaching for anxious skiers has much to do with enhancing Confidence!
How would it be, for you, if you had more of it just when you needed it?
Your level of self confidence is not dictated by outside circumstances. You are not an “empty vessel” subject only to external influences. What is more is that if you don’t have as much self confidence as you would like to have, you have it within your power to have more. If you are prepared to work at it.
Top sportsmen and women use several powerful and simple techniques, to help them maintain a high level of self confidence in the face of challenges, and set backs.
If, on occasion, your performance is less than you would have wished, (who’s isn’t?) then at least one of the possible contributory factors to that was a lack of a high level of self confidence.
Talking yourself down.
Henry Ford said – “Whether you believe you can or you can’t; you’re right”. You should not doubt that a higher level of belief in your self results in more frequent higher level performance.
If I said the kinds of things to my pupils that I hear them saying to themselves they would never speak to me again. And quite right too.
We bring ourselves up in ways that lead us to talk very negatively both to, and about ourselves. Maybe it stems from having been told we must never “put ourselves forward”, or “get above ourselves”, and other such rubbishy Victorian clap-trap.
Make the choice to not do this, choose instead to say positive things to your self, and the result will be that you will begin to think better of yourself. And in addition your skiing will improve, more quickly. You will also be happier in yourself.
Sports psychologists Professor Stephen Bull, and Drs John Albinson and Chris Shambrook have established that a lack of self-confidence is the most common area in need of improvement in athletes of all ability levels. And so, if this is a problem for you – you’re in excellent and elite company!
It’s mostly a case of just doing it.
In their book, The Mental Game Plan they say – “ . . A key determinant in both developing and maintaining confidence is what athletes say to themselves”. Through self-talk (internal dialogue) confidence and performance are inextricably linked. The choice is yours; you may choose to enhance your performance, or not. The decision will affect your feelings of well-being too.
When performers construct a positive mental self-image using positive self-talk, and self statements they perform better. When these things are negative, they lack confidence and performance drops, directly.
The good news is that you can change negative self-statements to positive; if you choose to.
Self-talk works – we know this because we have all experienced its negative effects. Talk your self down, and as a result Henry Ford’s aphorism becomes all too true. So, it is clear that to direct that self-talk so that confidence is enhanced,is a worthwhile thing to do.
The even better good news is that you can do exactly that. Of course this is not magic and is not a substitute for training, knowledge, good tactics and plenty of practice; but positive self-affirmative statements will enhance every one of those. Plus, if you’re going to put a lot of effort into those, you will undermine that effort by not addressing the key issue of self confidence building.
Ski Coaching for Anxious Skiers is something of a specialism for me, but there’s much you can do too. What I’m saying is that this is a personal choice. You can choose to enhance your self confidence. Work at it and you will succeed.
Over 90% of the time, our actions are governed by our subconscious minds, not our conscious minds. If you become good at self-affirmation, you will imbue your subconscious with perceptions of self-efficacy and your performance will improve. The techniques involved are not rocket science, they are both simple and powerful, and you can readily learn to become adept with them; what you need to do is simply to “buy-in” to them and do them.
All you have to do is DO them. They are not difficult.
The thing to do is to give all of them a good try, and pick the one(s) that work best for you. The above mentioned psychologists have established that the most effective techniques for most people, are :
Positive Achievement Reminders
The Performance Review
Write to me and I’ll send you one or two of these or you can find them in Chris Shambrook’s book
You CAN Take Control
Make a positive decision not to allow yourself to be at the mercy of your environment. If you can execute the requisite technique, robustly, on a “blue”, then you can execute that technique. Full stop. You have the skill to do it. You do not suddenly lose skill. What you lose is confidence in the likelihood of a successful outcome. So, focus your mind on the movements you will need to make – make it happen, don’t wait for it to happen. There’s much more about this in Chapter 12 of my book
I provide Ski Coaching for Anxious Skiers but there is much you can do for yourself.
Each of the above-listed techniques is available on other sheets from Bobski, and I am indebted to Professor Bull, and Drs. Shambrook and Albinson for their permission to reproduce the worksheets which they have developed alongside world-class athletes of many different sports.
The choice is yours; you may choose to retain negative attitudes and expectations, or you may choose to work on your self and give yourself a real chance of a better performance. Furthermore, you will enjoy a better experience, and who knows, perhaps a better life.