What exactly is confidence?
It’s a feeling of self-assurance. Confidence is a state where your spirits are buoyant; you feel optimistic and have a certain poise hat comes with thorough preparation. When you enter the ring feeling confident, you tend to deliver a better performance. The important thing to always keep in mind is, not to overestimate your potential and not to underestimate your rival. Confidence is a great feeling, but you have to be realistic as well.

Believing in yourself:
Believing in yourself requires you to go beyond confidence and have faith and conviction in your abilities. It is a state-of-mind in which you believe that you have the right training and skills to handle the match at hand. If you believe in yourself, then your body performs at the confidence level that your mind projects on it.

Ways to boost your confidence:
• Thorough Preparation: One of the easiest ways to build confidence for a fight is to believe that you are the better fighter; provided you are the better fighter! And the best way to be the better fighter is to be thorough in your preparation. When your preparation on techniques, skills, or physical fitness is poor, your confidence levels plummet
• Imagery of a previous good performance: Imagery of a previous good performance takes you back to a previous win situation and you will be able to relive your performance in detail. Your recollection on the manner in which you played the game, the moves and techniques that you used to good effect, and the way you felt when you won can create a surge in enthusiasm for your forthcoming game and an overall higher confidence level
• Skill Enhancement: When you upgrade your skills and learn new moves and tactics, the prospect of delivering a better performance using newly learned skills at as a confidence booster. Learning and skill enhancement has to be an ongoing effort to keep your confidence levels high
• Put your objectives and goals into perspective: When you achieve your goals or exceed them it will add to your overall confidence level. Goal setting helps you identify priorities, set out your objectives, and measure progress. You have to set realistic goals commensurate with your capabilities, training, and exposure to the game.
The point is that every game is a stepping-stone, and you have to cross all the steps to reach the top; there are no shortcuts. When you set your objectives, you have to factor in this truism. Every game adds to your confidence level and reinforces your belief in your capabilities. Many experts feel that self-confidence improves dramatically if a sports professional manages to achieve a major win in the initial stages of his her career, but this is, of course, easier said than done.
[b]• Affirmation: [/b]
a) Positive Self-Talk
One technique that is tried and tested is “Self-Talk,” which is a powerful tool that the top athletes around the world use. Actually, it’s not just self-talk, but “Positive Self-Talk” that works wonders. Positive self-talk is also referred to as “affirmation statements.” Constantly repeating positive statements to yourself can keep you in good spirits and boost your confidence – especially effective when used in the minutes just before a match begins. It’s like giving yourself a pep talk immediately before you begin a match.
b) “Salesy Self-Talk”: A positive sales pitch to yourself, “salesy self-talk” is where you talk to yourself about your own capabilities. This is a form of affirmation where you make a positive sales pitch in your mind on all the things you are good at in grappling, and combat atletics the number of times you won in the past, the belts that you won, and so on. It is a powerful reinforcement to your thought processes and a good way to pump up lost confidence levels.
• Weeding out: Thoughts that trickle into your mind, almost unbidden, just before a match, can at times be pessimistic in nature. It is a stage at which you sometimes begin to have doubts. This can happen in the last few days before the event or the event or the night before or even at the venue. Experts believe certain thoughts undermine your confidence, then you have to be aware of this harmful thought process and quickly go about weeding out the thoughts and replacing them with either positive self-talk or “Salesy” self-talk to regain your confidence.

Lloyd Irvin