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Confidence Comes From Preparation | Mamba Mondays

Before the first NBA 3-Point Shooting Contest in 1986, Larry Bird walked into the locker room and said, "Man, who's coming in second?"

That is confidence! That is belief in yourself and your abilities.

Where does that confidence come from? When do you feel the most confident? When do you not feel confident?

Sports psychologist Dr. Patrick Cohn defines self-confidence as how firmly athletes believe in their ability to execute a physical skill or perform a task. He says that confidence is how strongly you believe in your ability to make or execute a play, and confidence comes from past performances, training, and preparation. As your ability and skill grow your confidence grows.

The days that I am most confident are the days when I know what is coming and when I am prepared for it. When I have put in the work and I feel good about what I have done in practice, I feel more comfortable and confident in the game.

In an interview, Michael Jordan was asked if fear of failure was a motivator. He said, "I never feared about my skills because I put in the work. Work ethic eliminates fear. If you put forth the work, then what are you fearing? You know what you are capable of and what you are not."

What that quote tells me is confidence and success come from work.

In a TedEx talk, Kobe Bryant was asked about the power of the mind. Kobe was known as the ultimate confident competitor. There are athletes who can run like cheetahs and jump as high as the sky, but there are very few competitors you can truly count on when the stakes are the highest and emotions are flowing.

The ability to make plays in the most critical and crucial moments is what separates the greats from the greatest.

Kobe said:

To me, the mentality is a really simple one. The confidence comes from preparation. When the game is on the line, I'm not asking myself to do something I haven't done 1,000s of times before. When I prepare, I know what I'm capable of doing, I know what I'm comfortable doing, and I know what I'm NOT comfortable doing.

Preparation leads to confidence, and this applies in more areas than sports.

We can grow our confidence by getting better. We can get better by putting in time and work. When you put in time and work, you can feel and see yourself getting better, you know what you can do, and you can gain confidence from that. Identify what you do well, identify what you don't do well, identify what you are confident about, and identify what you are not confident about, and create an improvement plan.

Then, do the work!

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