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Dan's Journal

3 Steps to Becoming as Confident as the England Rugby Team!

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Confidence isn’t something you’re born with, it’s something you work on and develop. England rugby stalwart James Haskell said recently “confidence is learned and trained, like a skill” and he’s exactly right.

The first step to training your confidence is identifying where you can get it. What gives you confidence and self-belief in sport, where do you soak yours up from? Many athletes I’ve spoken to look at their last good performance, but what if that was weeks ago? Top athletes have multiple sources of confidence like how hard they train, preparing well, understanding their strengths, and more. They use these sources to build a robust bubble of self-belief, one which can withstand the odd mistake or dip in performance and still leave them ready to go again next time.

The second step is to make regularly targeting these confidence sources part of your training. It could be making a list of your achievements and reading through them before your game or event, visualising yourself performing well, or having a chat with your coach, parents or partner about what your ‘super strengths’ are in your sport. When you put in the time and effort to train it, your confidence will develop just like any other area of your game.

Finally, spend some time identifying anything that reduces your confidence. Perhaps certain people end up dragging you down a little bit or making you more negative, or maybe packing your kitbag in a rush before you leave stresses you out. Work out what could affect you then plan how to deal with it, so that it doesn’t mess with you when you’re preparing to perform at your best.

To get you started, below is a self-belief builder that you can download and print - why not have a go at filling it in - I’m convinced it’ll help you become more confident. Drop me an email at dan@cartersportpsych.co.uk if you have any trouble downloading it and I’ll send one across to you!

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Dan Carter