3 Keys To Unlock The Confidence That Will Lead To Your Success


After writing for two years straight, I think it’s time for a blog vacation! But never fear, dear reader, I won’t leave you alone during my vacay. Please enjoy some of my oldies (but goodies!) about something near and dear to my heart: The Pyramid of Success.

“You must have confidence.  You must believe in yourself if you expect others to believe in you.”
—John Wooden

Confidence is the result of preparation.  Don’t believe me?  Go into a meeting with your boss without knowing what the topic will be and see how you feel.  I’ll bet you’d feel a lot less than confident.  But if you know the topic ahead of time and you’re able to get some info together so that you can speak intelligently…then you’ll feel confident.  So we agree…preparation is key.  But how do we prepare our athletes?  I think confidence has got to be on three different planes: they’ve got to be confident in themselves, in their teammates, and in their team goals.  If one of those three is missing, then success may be just out of your reach.  Read on to see how you can properly prepare your athletes to be confident.

3 reasons why confidence is essential for your athletes

In themselves. As Wooden says in that opening quotation, you’ve got to believe in you…because if you don’t, why should I?  The beauty of confidence is in the preparation.  Your athlete feels confident at the free throw line when the game is on the line because you’ve put her in that situation a million times in practice. Even when she makes a mistake in the game, that athlete understands that she will have more successes than failures during any given competition, so she’s not too high when things are flowing and she’s not too low when nothing is working right.  She’s confident that things will work out for her because she’s done everything within her power to be prepared.

In their teammates. According to dictionary.com, confidence in your teammates would look like “belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person.”  That sounds like preparation to me!  Your passers have confidence that they will each do their jobs, because they’ve done it time and time again.  In practice, in games, in stressful situations…they’ve watched their teammates be tested and be successful.  Therefore, they have confidence that they’ll be successful in the future.

In their vision. If your team isn’t confident in their goals and vision for the future, then it likely won’t come to pass.  Why?  Because sometimes your team will not play well, sometimes they’ll lose, sometimes they won’t live up to their own hype.  But quality preparation for their goals will help them to stay focused.  Coaches can talk to their teams about the pressure of being picked to win it all, or the pressure of winning back to back, or the pressure of “must win” games.  Coaches should talk about how athletes can manage their emotions, their classwork, and their expectations through it all.  All of that qualifies as preparation.

As the Boy Scouts motto says: Be prepared.  I firmly believe that proper preparation leads to successful performances.  If we invest in our athletes through preparation, our teams will benefit in the form of winning teams.

Join me in a series discussing John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.  I believe his Pyramid can be applied to our teams, our recruiting efforts, how we behave as professionals, and to our lives in general.  This series will cover Self-Control, Alertness, Initiative, Intentness, Condition, Skill, Team Spirit, Poise, and Confidence.