"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him ... but let him ask in faith, with no doubting"      James 1:5

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Four Steps to a Football Teams Confidence

There are two types of confidence.  One that will lead your team in an upward spiral and the other in a downward spiral.  As coaches we need to understand why it’s important to mentally train before players/teams lose confidence.  Just like physically conditioning for a game or season, it's beneficial to become the best team mentally possible.

The ultimate goal is to develop a strong, resilient belief about your team's athletic ability and to have the confidence to perform at peak levels on a consistent basis, but also believing they can do it.

This is the battle within.

The downward spiral is the easiest way.  ‘Hang out’ with the wrong people, sitting idle, putting things off and playing to a competitor's level (not always putting the best effort into the game).

The upward spiral is tough work.  So great that you don’t notice the work since it’s opening doors of opportunity and success.  Ask anyone in the NFL or within a successful business.

The goal of your team's confidence is to develop a strong belief in their ability so that everyone performs at the highest level and believe you will win. This will translate to off-field activities for everyone also.  Here are four areas to develop your football team's confidence:

Preparation:  This is the foundation of your confidence.  In order to have confidence in your ability to perform, you must believe you have done everything you can to perform at your best.  This entails physical, tactical, technical and mental parts of football.  The faith from your preparation will show and more confidence will be bred within you.  In other words …. practice and train.

Mental skills:  Repetition of football practice and drills develop confidence.  Practice develops mental skills that provide repetition of your confidence.  These mental developments can be goal setting, motivation, confident body language, a control to combat confidence-depleting anxiety and maintain focus under pressure.  Mental skills are important throughout life.

Adversity:  So …. things are going well.  But what happens when they are not?  Adversity can be anything that makes you uncomfortable and takes you out of your comfort zone.  Things like bad weather or poor field conditions, an unfriendly crowd, an opponent that is a little better than you or frustrates you.  How about the opponent that you should defeat but seems to get the best of you?

Performing under adversity has several benefits.  It forces you to perform well under difficult conditions, teaches you skills to perform at a higher level and prepares you for future adversities you will inevitably experience in the future.  Facing adversity will ingrain confidence in you.

Success:  Success validates the confidence you have developed in your ability.  All of the three  mentioned above (preparation, mental, adversity) are steps to building your team's confidence.  Success strengthens your confidence, making the team more resilient in the face of adversity.

Finally, success rewards team effort and confidence, encouraging them to work hard and develop.  Then it’s back to the beginning … preparation … mental … adversity … success …