Yesterday I interviewed Shannon Miller, the winningest female hockey coach in history.
I asked her how she builds confidence in her athletes.
She said: “I get to know each player and her strengths. I focus on her strengths by being really positive with her. Then I set realistic goals for her and encourage her the whole time. One by one she achieves her goals, giving her confidence tons of momentum.”
1. Get to know yourself.
2. Focus on your strengths.
3. Set realistic goals based on them.
4. Build on your momentum.
So why do do so many people struggle with their confidence?
What step to they fall down on?
This will surprise you.
It’s Step 2 – the ability to focus on your strengths.
Most people cannot focus on their strengths for any reasonable length of time.
They are inherently negative.
They’ve been trained since the age of five to think, talk, and be negative.
By the time they reach adulthood, it is a deeply ingrained habit.
Shannon actually had the opposite experience.
Her mother was a super-positive person.
Shannon says: “I used to sing and play the guitar as a kid. For a long time I thought I was really good because of my Mom. Later, when I got old enough to self-evaluate, I realized I can’t sing at all,” she laughed.
Positive thinking doesn’t mean putting on your rose-coloured glasses and ignoring reality.
It means focusing on where you’re REALLY good repetitively.
After interviewing Shannon I started thinking about every superstar athlete I’ve ever met.
They all have ONE characteristic in common.
They really DO think they are the cat’s meow.
Even when they make mistakes or lose, they minimize such trivial things in their mind.
Want to test my theory?
Watch a big competition like the U.S. Master’s Golf tournament or the Stanley Cup.
Listen to the interviews of the losing athletes.
They RARELY insult themselves after a loss.
In fact they’re almost always talking about how well they played, even if they choked or unravelled.
Focusing on your strengths is a really important skill in mental toughness training.
You need to cultivate this habit, pronto.
Here’s a quick and easy way to start.
Right now, without thinking, say out loud your top three strengths as an athlete or coach.
How did you do? Were they easy to come up with?
If not, you need to work on this.
And if you’d like to massively shortcut the process, I suggest Secrets of the Great Jock Mind.
It’s a visualization program that programs your mind for positive images and success.
You will discover exactly how to re-program yourself with virtually no work.
In fact, it’s fun, because you get excited about your winning future right away.
And if you haven’t downloaded my Ebook, The Courage to Win in Sport, I highly recommend you do so immediately. It reveals the secret mental toughness strategies only champions know and understand.
You can even try it for 7 days FREE here:
And if you aren’t receiving our free mental toughness tips, sign up here.