“Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and
mastered–just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will
change for the better.– Barrie Davenport
The Merriam-Webster dictionary uses the following definitions (among others) to define confidence as:
1. a feeling that you can do something well or succeed at something
2. a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something
3. a feeling or consciousness of one’s power or reliance on one’s circumstances.
Athletes and those who coach and work with them, acknowledge confidence as one of the most important keys to having success. Both in their sport and out of it.
Often, confidence is related to what an athlete has done in the past. That kind of confidence is what the first two definitions above, speak to. However, the third definition has to do with being mindful (choosing to be in the present moment on purpose, without judgment).
Playing a sport is more about consciousness & awareness; feeling and seeing, then it is about thinking. When adversity comes calling, it is the horizontal thinking (past and future), that interferes with an athlete’s ability to access their potential, get in the zone and ultimately
performance at their best. This will negatively affect an athlete’s confidence and can infect those around them.
“Confidence is contagious, So is lack of confidence.” –Vince Lombardi
- an ego
All the above are attributes that can negatively affect an athlete’s performance.
Being 100% energetically engaged and present in the moment, only leaves situations to deal with. Since the present moment is where any sport or situation is happening, it is the only place that an athlete truly has power.
“Being sure of your athletic ability, trusting your instincts and ability to access creativity in the moment, allows an athlete to summon the emotion of confidence when they need it the most – by being in the present moment” –Walter Aguilar
Learning to be a more mindful athlete will lead to better and more consistent performances. The collateral benefit will be a more confident, positive athlete who will understand that it is being and mastering the process, where true success resides.
The Demystification of Momentum in Hockey!
“As any athlete knows, momentum is the most unstoppable force in sports. The only way to stop it is if you get in your own way, start making stupid mistakes or stop believing in yourself.-Rocco Mediate
“When a team has momentum, it means a team has things going in its favour, and it
will take a great effort to stop it”
“When a team has momentum, it means a team has things going in its favour, and it will take a great effort to stop it”
Momentum is the effect, not the cause of success in hockey. It is the result of effective confident actions in the moment. Momentum does not transfer from game to game, however, confidence can. It can only truly show up in the moment, because the now is all there ever is. After that it
becomes game film for reflection and learning. Momentum is gained when a hockey player who is mindful in the present moment, taps into his potential (skills, talents, intuition & creativity) by making a play that raises the energy of his team. This can be any of the following:
- a goal
- a nice pass
- a big hit
- a big save
- a selfless blocked shot
- any effective play that energizes and increases the confidence of their team.
High performance in hockey, is not just playing the game, but it is about being the game, and performing at a high level of effectiveness. This has been described as entering a state of being where flow or zone moments happen. This state is connected to a high level of effective execution. These are seven attributes that are found in flow or zone moments:
1. High Confidence & belief in one’s ability
2. State of Mindfulness/Being in the now
3. A sense of connection to everyone and everything
4. High creativity
5. Deep sense of intuition
6. Minimal horizontal thinking
7. Acute awareness
8. Appropriate focus and concentration
Since high levels of confidence and belief are paramount to being in the zone and effective, then understanding the two following ways to be summon the emotion of confidence can be helpful:
1. Reflect and focus on the experiences of past success and look to build on it. This type of
confidence helps players and teams either bounce back from tough losses or continue a on a
2. Being in 100% present and energetically engaged in the now. Trusting the process, their
team and their ability to perform under pressure.
1. Reflect and focus on the experiences of past success and look to build on it. This type of confidence helps players and teams either bounce back from tough losses or continue a on a winning streak.
2. Being in 100% present and energetically engaged in the now. Trusting the process, their team and their ability to perform under pressure.
Momentum can only be captured and experience in the moment and is in fact, an energy exchange. The equation of Performance = Potential – Interference (stress reactions), is the beginning to understanding momentum. Since we all emit energy, whether we are aware of it or
not, makes no difference. Our thoughts (more specifically our beliefs) Transform our energy to either anabolic or catabolic energy. The more anabolic we are, the more conscious, aware, engaged and confident we are.
Anabolic energy is an expanding energy where creativity, intuition, positivity, engagement, connection and confidence are found. This type of energy is light, flowing and expanding. Catabolic energy is a contracting energy often the result of being in stress reaction to what is happening in the present moment. It is driven by horizontal thinking (past or future) were fear, anxiety, anger, negativity, low confidence, tightness, lack of creativity and blocked intuition happens to a player or team.
When a player or players can be in a state where they are 100% present and engaged in the moment their performance is going to be very effective because they are in their ideal state of being to be able to perform at a highly effective level. What we see and feel a momentum shift, often, it occurs because an opposing team are experiencing horizontal thinking (past or future) and are dropped into a lower of awareness and confidence, thereby decreasing their level of effectiveness in their performance. When hockey players mismanage their emotions due to stress reactions, it can lead to a shift of momentum due to a poor pass, bad penalty or just ineffective decision making in the moment. This will cause them to be in catabolic energy and can result in them appearing to be less effective than they can be.
Entrainment – to draw along with or after oneself.
“Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence”–Vince Lombardi
When a hockey player makes a big hit, score a goal or in general makes a great er, he lifts the confidence of his teammates and his fans. This shift in energy is called entrainment and it is what cause momentum to shift in their favour. This shift is so powerful that when you are in the arena
you can actually feel the energy transfer ocurring. Entrainment can also happen to a team from a home crowd of raving fans who are willing them to victory with their high anabolic, positive energy. That is why home ice advantage is so highly coveted.
When a team of confidence, mindful, and engaged hockey players can show up in shift, period or . game, the momentum gained is the result of the mindful state that occurs when players are not just thinking or playing the game but rather being the game. This is why a game is never truly
over until it is over. Confidence and belief are the cause of momentum. Momentum is the roadway to success in hockey!