Tuesday, June 2, 2015

MENTAL TOUGHNESS – SELF CONFIDENCE

by RISE UP Ultimate

Self-confidence is that intangible factor, a “cousin” to PMA, positive mental attitude that keeps an athlete working hard regardless of how many times he/she may fail or how many obstacles get thrown in his/her path. Self-confidence can give an average athlete or team the courage and focus to defeat a stronger opponent. Self-confidence can motivate you to attempt and accomplish the impossible. Likewise, lacking self-confidence, an athlete or team will consistently perform way below their potential. Low self-confidence can kill an athlete’s enjoyment of the sport and turn him/her into a dropout statistic.

Dr. Alan Goldberg

Self-confidence takes many different forms on the ultimate field, and Dr. Goldberg frames it as a tool to be used when facing difficult challenges and obstacles. The ability to sustain effort and dedication through setbacks is an essential skill for ultimate players, especially new ones.

In the first issue of RISE UP Think Tank, Reid Koss talked about his experience trying out for Seattle Sockeye:

If your goal is to make a team that you haven’t been talented enough to make yet and you are spending your offseason doing nothing but lifting and running, you are not doing enough to make that team. To be clear, you should be doing those things. Pretty much the worst thing you can do at a tryout is show up out of shape, and an offseason lifting program will do wonders towards building a strong, athletic base that will help prevent mid-season injuries. But making an elite ultimate team means you need to be good at ultimate, which means sharpening those throwing skills, becoming a smarter and stronger defender, and being a more evasive cutter.

This type of dedication to holistic training, and to searching for skills that you need to improve on is a key connection to Dr. Goldberg’s statement on self-confidence. In order to improve as players we need to face tasks that seem impossible, while relying on our personal motivation to keep working.