What comes first – success or confidence?

Howdy – today I have a guest post from Brandon Rohrer who specializes in the mental side of the goalie game…enjoy!

It’s just like the old saying.

What comes first the chicken or the egg?

It’s one of my favourite topics to discuss in the mental game. I get asked this question all the time by goalies and goalie parents.

Doesn’t my son/daughter have to be successful before they can become confident?

Having success can make us more confident there is no doubt about it. Having said that, can you be consistently successful without being confident? I think not.

Think about it…..

If your successful on a breakaway or 2 on 1 without confidence, isn’t that called luck?

As a goalie, I can remember hoping for that one opportunity to make a big jaw dropping save for the sole purpose of it boosting my confidence.

I would say to myself “if only I could make that big save, I would then feel more comfortable and get back to my game.”

But as we all know, in sports you can’t wait for those moments, we need to be able to turn things around fast when they aren’t going well.

The truth is we are 100% responsible for how we feel in any moment.

If you’re feeling nervous, you created that feeling, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the other team, you created that feeling and if you’re feeling confident it’s because you put yourself in that mental state.

We all know as athletes, that we are playing our best when we are confident.

So the question is…… How do we show up with confidence consistently?

One of the best ways to take you from a state of frustration or nervousness into a state of confidence is this:

Ask yourself a better question.

We are constantly asking ourselves questions throughout the game, sometimes they are unconscious to us but they are there. Haven’t you noticed this?

When the other team is coming down on the breakaway what comes up in your mind?

Do you ask, “Am I going to stop this?”

How successful do you think your chances are if you’re asking yourself that question?

If we want to play at our potential consistently we need to be prepared to put ourselves in a confident state of mind.

When I work with goalies, one of the first things we do is establish 5 questions they can ask themselves to get back into a confident state.

For example:

  • How would I feel if I was 100% confident?
  • How would I feel if I was a brick wall?
  • How would I feel if I was locked into the zone?
  • What would I believe about myself if I was truly unstoppable?

Try saying these to yourself right now, do you notice a difference in your body? Do you see how much different those are then “am I going to stop this?”

Again, when you ask yourself a question your brain will come up with an answer, so design some questions that are going to generate the feelings you want (i.e. confidence) rather than one’s that are going to put you in a negative state.

Keep in mind this isn’t just about positive thinking, by continuously asking yourself better questions you’ll begin to condition yourself so the next time the other team comes down on a breakaway your already thinking “I am a brick wall.”

You’ve already conditioned the negative thoughts that pop up into your head so why not condition yourself for success rather than failure.

So the next time you find yourself waiting for success to be confident, remember to ask yourself a better question and stay locked in the zone.

Your mental coach,
Brandon Rohrer