7 Ways To Improve Your Confidence in Field Hockey

Think of a time when you were at your best… I bet you felt confident.

Too many players rely on feeling confident on game day in order to play well. While this can work sometimes it’s NOT reliable which means you won’t play your best consistently.

But, imagine if you could learn how to become more self confident so that you have confidence on command.

Just to be clear, being confident is not about being arrogant or showing off.

Confidence is a feeling you get when you know that you have what it takes and you trust yourself to do just that.

Most players struggle with doubt or low confidence so if this is you then know that you’re not alone. In fact it’s the #1 biggest change people see after working with me or going through our programs and it’s been the biggest game changer for me.

If you’re not feeling motivated or you don’t believe in yourself then you will probably put off doing the extra fitness or skills sessions, you may also be more likely to give in to those bad nutrition choices and not push yourself as much as you could.

This creates bad habits and conditions your behaviour which in turn affects you subconsciously.

The key to confidence lies in the unconscious part of the brain where everything runs on autopilot (without awareness) and is used 90% of the time.

The unconscious will always win over the conscious!

Think about when you have reacted to something that you later regretted, that was your unconscious. It is doing without thinking. The same happens with your confidence.

It’s a skill that comes from conditioning.

So, just like your hockey skills and fitness, you need to condition your brain too. That is why I developed a process that I take people through which works time and time again.

But for the sake of this article, I want to give you some simple tips that can help you to recognise just a few of the common things that may be affecting your confidence.

7 Ways To Improve Your Confidence In Field Hockey

#1: Stop comparing yourself to others

Have you ever wished you could be as good as a team mate or opposition player?

Maybe you are in awe of your opponents when warming up before a game, thinking things like: “Look how big, fast or skilful they are.”

When you compare yourself to others you are focussing more on other people’s strengths and less on what you have to offer. Instead think about what you are good at, what you bring to the team and make sure you don’t just think about your weaknesses but also maximise your strengths.

#2: Raise your limiting beliefs

We all have a limit of what we think we are capable of. Whether you choose to admit it or not, my bet is that you’re probably limiting yourself in some way.

For example it could be playing below the level you’re capable of, underplaying what you can do to others or not setting your sights on goals high enough and settling for being average, playing at a level you’re comfortable at.

I want to challenge you to set a goal beyond what you think you can achieve right now. Something that is possible but will take some work and dedication to achieve.

Don’t question whether you can or can’t achieve it. Rather ask yourself HOW could I achieve it?

#3: Don’t rely on praise from others

Too many players rely too much on getting positive comments from others to feel like they’re good enough. Sure, everyone likes to receive positive feedback and it’s a sign that you’re on track but it is not something you should rely on to feel confident.

What I’ve noticed is that most people are more likely to point out the negative than they are to point out or even notice the positive so it is not a reliable way of building your confidence because it often only has a temporary affect anyway.

#4: Watch your body language

Have you ever noticed a player on the field that doubts themselves or lacks confidence? You can pick them out easily, not by what they say but rather by what they do, how they stand, walk or play.

Likewise, how do react when you make a mistake or your team goes a goal down?

Do you drop your head or show any signs of frustration? If you do this, your opponent can pick up on this which can give them more confidence and motivation so make sure you manage your body language by keeping it positive.

Your body language is largely unconscious so you’re often not aware of what you’re communicating to others.

#5: Pay attention to your self talk

Start to notice the conversation that you have with yourself.

For example when you make a mistake do you ever think things like:

“That was rubbish”

“Why did I do that? I shouldn’t have done that”

“I’m such an idiot”

How would you like it if your best friend or team mate said that to you? So then why are you saying it to yourself?

#6: Accept compliments

What do you do or say when someone gives you a compliment?

How many times have you shrugged it off, got embarrassed or denied the opportunity to accept their compliment?

People are more likely to point out the negative than the positive so when someone goes out of their way to give you positive feedback you have to take it if you want to grow your confidence.

If you think they’re just saying it to be nice then it may be because you give compliments when you don’t mean it. So you must stop doing that, otherwise you may not accept others positive feedback and you’ll lose out on an opportunity to build your confidence.

#7: Better preparation

Another way to build your confidence is to make sure you’re doing everything you can to prepare yourself. For example if you miss a fitness session or make poor nutrition choices, you’ll feel guilty and deep down you know that you didn’t do everything you could to prepare, meaning you’ll feel less prepared and less confident.

If however you’re putting in the extra yards and you’re working not just harder but also smarter than everyone else then you will feel more confident as a result.

Confidence is earned.

If you don’t know what to do or where to start then you just have to find out, don’t just use ignorance as an excuse.

That is why I’m offering you the chance to have a private chat with me so I can help you discover what you need to do to take your hockey to the next level.

To learn more request a FREE Strategy Session here

Hopefully these tips have helped you to recognise a few possible reasons why you may not be feeling confident. The next step is to do something about it so Request your FREE Strategy Session today

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About The Author

Lauren Penny

Lauren is a former International Hockey Player, Performance Coach & Mentor specialising in helping hockey players to be more confident, improve their fitness and perform more consistently to get noticed and reach higher teams.