Everything you need to have a champion's mindset
How To Fix Your Confidence Problem
Self-doubt is a self-defense mechanism.
If you don’t think you’re any good, then you’ll be right when you have a bad shift or a not-so-great game. If you aren’t confident in yourself, there is no way that someone can attack you for being “cocky” or “full of yourself”. By doubting yourself, you give yourself an “out” so that you don’t always have to hold yourself accountable and be the best you can be every time you hit the ice.
I wish I could just give girls hockey players confidence. I wish it was something that I could just package up and hand it to them so that they’d believe in themselves. Maybe then they’d stop listening to the voices in their heads that tell them that they “aren’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough”.
But I can’t. No one can. Confidence has to come from within.
But it’s not an “all the time” thing.*
Sure we all have times and areas in our lives where we feel supremely confident – and then there are times (often for no good reason) where we feel like we don’t want to face the world and would rather just recede into the background. You don’t have to feel like a million bucks all the time. And when you do feel less than fantastic, you don’t have to feel bad about it and make yourself feel even worse. We’ve all been there.
But just because you aren’t feeling like the most awesome version of yourself on any given day, it doesn’t mean that you can just throw your hands up in the air and give up. I always tell my players that they can’t just “opt out of life” when things get hard. After all, it’s how we rise to the occasion when life punches us right in the gut that defines our character as a player and person.
In the case of confidence, sometimes you just need to fake it until you feel it.
You’ve got to be your own best friend, instead of being your own worst enemy. Don’t put yourself down – stand up and say “Thanks” when someone gives you a compliment – even if you think you played a “horrible” game and you can only focus on the negative. And when you have a bad day or make a big mistake, own it and MOVE ON. Let yourself feel “bad” about it – but only for a reasonable amount of time. Don’t overpay for your mistake. Remember that a bad mistake or game doesn’t make you a bad player or bad person. It’s just a game – which, trust me, is something that I have to remind myself of quite often.
Sometimes you just have to fake it until you feel it for the sake of yourself and your team. You don’t have to run around with a fake smile on your face and pretend everything is “A-OK” but you’ve got to do your job and play your role. You’ve got to show up anyways – so you might as well make the most of it. And do me one more favor…
… Stop feeling like a fraud.
Stop worrying that one day they’ll find out that you’re really not that good. Stop underestimating yourself and judging your performance on the rink, in the classroom and in life as being worse than it really is. Show up, do the work and the results will take care of themselves. Turn off the self-doubt for a minute and take the darn compliment. Be your own best friend – no matter what.
And as I always tell my players, remember that in girls’ hockey:
Speed Kills & Confidence Is King.
Work Hard. Dream BIG. Believe In Yourself.
Your friend and coach,
PS – Our entire summer camp schedule has been posted on our website, check it out here:
Kim McCullough, MSc, YCS
Director & Founder, Total Female Hockey