Confidence and Trust in Competition – “The Freeze Factor”

By February 19, 2021Uncategorized

To what degree do you freeze up in real game competition versus an opponent compared to competition during practice? Some players freeze up mentally (lack confidence) or they freeze up physically (lack trust).

The difference between confidence and trust is confidence is how strongly you believe you can perform well. While trust is the ability to be on “auto-pilot,” whereby you rely on physical movement memory to execute a motor skill.

Circle the number below that indicates your self-evaluation in both practice scrimmaging and in competition. The continuum goes from very low freeze up (maintain confidence or trust) to very high freeze up (lack confidence and trust). The players that have more confidence and the ability to trust themselves when needed most, self-score at the lower end of the scale.

The “Freeze Factor”

Very Low Very High
Practice 1 2 3 4 5
Real Game 1 2 3 4 5

It’s important to trust your physical skills and abilities. The trust comes from having confidence in your ability to meet the demands before you. It’s essential that you are not only able, but also willing, to perform spontaneously (physical) and intuitively (mental) when you are in challenging situations. Do the following to help you get into a mental state to perform in the upper range of your capabilities.

  1. Identify your fears and then determine how you will manage them.
  2. Visualize how you will deal with challenging situations in competition by using your new found perspective in managing fear.
  3. Show self-acceptance, accountability, and resilience when things don’t go your way.

Here are some final thoughts on how you can perform better with confidence and trust:

  • Trust your technique while in the process of doing (see-react-play)
  • Play in the present moment (perform in the now, unconcerned about “what ifs”)
  • Realize mistakes are part of the game. Perfectionism is a losing game.
  • How you see yourself is more important than concerns about how others perceive you if you don’t succeed.

Life in the “freezer” is uncomfortable. Create your own sunshine and warmth by believing in yourself. Show confidence and trust in your own abilities.