In Sport Psychology, confidence is defined as a self-belief and certainty that you are up to the task - positivity, resilience, a fighting spirit and ability to learn from set backs are common themes. For some sports coaches this leads them to see confidence and motivation as a fixed, given attribute, much like physique - you either have it or you don't. For others its a kind of x factor - a magical quality that will explain what happens but isn't really explainable itself.
What if we were to think of confidence in some of the following ways:
fluid and dynamic, rather than fixed, with both discernible, sometimes predictable patterns and sometimes unexpected ruptures or surprising breakthroughs
as a complex interaction, highly influenced by others and our environment as well as deeply rooted in the individual
a challenging and deeply rewarding area of coaching that can be opened up, understood and developed, whilst still being inherently personal and magical in its effects.
Overlapping forms of coaching:
Much of the focus of coaching centres on performance: how to help those we coach succeed in their chosen competition or event. Everything we do here is rooted in hard measures and rigorous planning, in most cases all directed at helping our athletes be in peak condition at a finite point in time.
At the same time, in most clubs, week in week out, our focus is usually of a different, more developmental nature, especially where we are coaching younger people: about imparting skills and, we hope, a love for our sport that will endure beyond any one event or season.
Overlapping these two essential forms of coaching, but also worthy of occupying a space of its own, is what we call Confidence Centred Coaching.
Those coaches who take part in the workshops will be introduced to a model that we are using in our own work with athletes and participants of all abilities as well as in our mentoring of developing coaches.
The model requires self-reflection and openness to explore what may sometimes be quite emotive and personal experiences. It's not aimed at producing a simple, prescriptive list of 'Ten Things to Do' or Top Tips, though it leads to very practical and useful suggestions for building sustainable confidence and for focusing one's energy in the most challenging of conditions - such as being on the starting line of a major event, facing one's fears to learn a new activity such as swimming or for a coach grappling with their own doubts or hesitancies. We are finding the model can have very powerful, positive effects in all these situations.