Posted on November 22, 2017 by Shawn Mullix

Psychology plays a part in your gym and sporting success however, in my opinion, I do think that some people do overrate the power of psychology on actually making it as a sports person and achieving the physique of your dreams… when you are that level of elite competition you will know! But for the average person your genetics will impact somewhere along the line so it is more important to be realistic on what is achievable in the first place…!

Most of us will not be able to build a physique like Arnold Schwarzenegger for example, as our frames and joint structures just simply aren’t big enough. Or maybe you want to slim down to the size of that celeb or catwalk model- your frame might be larger than you think, and not everyone will be able to move with the speed of Usain Bolt or Cristiano Ronaldo; we just aren’t all built that way.

However, you can 100% excel and be the best version of yourself which is what is most important. This is where psychology really can be a powerful tool to achieving what you can, excelling you past where you are now and beyond what you thought was possible.

This blog explores some simple ideas to instilling greater self-confidence to improve your performance in the gym or sporting field.

1) Making and recognising accomplishments– one of the most powerful tools at your disposal is realising your achievements. Reaching distances, making times, successfully lifting a weight or number of repetitions or even winning an event all give an individual the most powerful form of self-confidence. If you have goals set in advance, being able to say “I did that or I’m very near doing this” will enhance self-confidence greatly.

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2) Use verbal communication- a training partner, coach, your spouse or a friend can also give you that self-confidence to go on, do better and achieve more. If you hear comments like “you look good”, “you’re technique is great”, or “you’re performing well” this can be very reassuring! Having someone else notice your hard work and efforts can go a long way to help on your journey. One experience I can call upon is when I used to track sprint; hearing my coach inform me that my technique was looking good and picking specific sprints where I “nailed” what he was looking for always gave me that boost to go on to work harder. I was never going to be the world’s fastest man, but I felt that intrinsic motivation during training!

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3) Become aware of your own performance- Knowing your own body and its physical condition can help how we perform in the gym or in our sport. If we are feeling fit and healthy we are more likely to perform to the best of our ability; entering a game or a gym with a focus knowing that we are strong and ready will help our confidence levels massively.

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4) Observing performance- looking back on our positive performances, re-living PB’s and good games are another great way to build self-confidence. Video analysis can be a useful tool in training as you might not be moving as you think you are, particularly if you are training for a long time, and a great way to go about this can be a few sessions with a personal trainer. Then knowing that you “CAN” is far more powerful in comparison to “I think I can”. In addition, visual learning and watching someone technically proficient and successful at what you are also trying to achieve is a good tool to increase self-confidence. Even as children, watching and learning gave us the self-confidence to do some of the many things we do now for the first time, such as walking!

Self-confidence is a great tool for gym users and professional sports people alike but it is important not to get too misled however, and begin thinking that with all the confidence in the world that you will be able to get exactly what you want, when you want.

Focus on yourself and becoming a better you, set goals and realise that self-confidence is having a level of trust in your abilities and utilising this to achieve what is realistically possible.