March 29, 2015

The loss of confidence


Joe Friel is the source of coaching wisdom for a generation of athletes. In his Going Long, written with Gordon Byrn in 2003, he lists eight Success Traits of successful triathletes.

The first is Confidence,

There are two types of confidence: respect for yourself as a person and respect for your athletic abilities. The successful athlete scores high in both areas. Confidence in either area is lost usually through our own initiative. Inside each of us is a small voice that likes to criticise. It often points out our shortcomings and limiters. Success comes in large part from merely learning to control that voice while providing constant positive feedback.

Any endurance event, be it athletic or commercial, gives plenty of opportunity for that small voice to shout loud. Controlling the impulse to listen starts with accepting the self-doubt as normal and tuning your ear to the quieter voice that positively wants you to swim past the barriers.

Skippy Strategy: Next time you hear the little voice, tell it you’re grateful for the feedback and that you’ve decided to move forward anyway. What’s the worst that can happen?