As a competitive athlete, you are faced with situation after situation that challenges you to adapt. How you respond to these situations is critical; they will either help you grow as an athlete, or become the confidence killers that prevent you from improving.

Here are the three most common confidence killers that I see in the athletes I work with every day:

1. Responding Negatively To Mistakes

Mistakes happen. It’s how you respond to them that makes you a champion.

Even the professionals make mistakes from time to time. It doesn’t matter if this is your first season playing soccer, or if you’ve spent your entire life on the field, you are bound to mess up. It’s how you respond that makes all the difference.

If you look at mistakes as an invaluable learning experience, you will never stop growing. Unfortunately, many athletes focus too much on their errors, which only makes them mess up again and again. It’s no surprise that this downward spiral is the #1 confidence killer in athletes.

2. Trying To Be Perfect

This ties in directly with point #1. It’s important to remember that nobody is perfect. No matter how hard we try, none of us will never achieve perfection.

Soccer does not exist in a “perfect world”. The sport itself is beautiful because it is full of perfect moments, but there is no such thing as a perfect game. Becoming frustrated or angry when things don’t turn out flawlessly is a sure way to lose your passion for the game, and kill your confidence as an athlete.

3. Taking The Bad And Leaving The Good

At the end of a match, are you able to look back and focus on the things you did well, what you’re proud of, and how you can improve as a player? Or do you find yourself dwelling on nothing but your mistakes, how you “let your team down,” or all of the “shoulda coulda woulda’s” you wish you had done during the game?

Again, I ask you to look back at point #1. Nobody is perfect. By focusing only on the negative, you’ll drag your confidence through the dirt. Plus, you’ll be missing out on so many wonderful learning experiences and confidence boosts as you recall that amazing pass or miraculous save!

If you’re struggling with your confidence, I’m here to help! Click here to contact Erika Westhoff Performance.