What separates individuals in competition? Take two athletes with similar abilities…why can one perform at a higher level than the other?
Confidence is the key. It is a powerful thing. Confidence can elevate your performance, ruin it before you start and empower you to try new things.
A couple clients I have worked with come to mind when talking about confidence and its power. One is a recreational lifter, general fitness client looking to simply feel better and look better. She does a fantastic job with lifts, paying attention to the technique and accepting new challenges. However, there is a fear there. A fear of failure and a fear of uncertainty…”I’ve gone that heavy before” or “I’ve never tried that”. This particular client has increased her max squat by at least 20 pounds in the last 2 weeks simply by trying a weight out of her comfort zone. A lack of confidence was holding her back, not a lack of ability. Conquering this feat of strength has given her the confidence in her physical abilities.
The second client is a young athlete who plays basketball. She is a talented, hard-working athlete. She started varsity as a freshman and was welcomed to the world of varsity sports quickly. Playing against girls 2-3 years older than her, stronger than her and with more experience than her, she encountered struggles she had not faced before. She dedicated herself in the off season to develop herself physically. She was went from not being able to perform a chin up to doing 3 unassisted; from having to do assisted push ups to dominating a push up with chains on her back…hard core stuff. She pushed and pulled sleds, deadlifted, and squatted. She sent me a text the other day saying, “I feel so much stronger and more confident this year. I am making plays I wouldn’t have made last year.” She doesn’t play with fear anymore. She knows she can hold her own on defense, won’t get pushed around on offense and get mix it up with the bigger girls. She’s confident!
Improving your deadlift or squat is great. Those are quantifiable goals and keep us motivated. However, improving people’s self-confidence is powerful and has a much deeper effect than a 300 pound squat. It changes their outlook on themselves, allows them to try new things, and generally be in a better state of mind.
Develop that confidence!