Self-esteem, Self-confidence, being Aware… Certainty: Are they important for the Athlete? What’s the Athlete’s Self-esteem in Sport Coaching?
Athlete’s Self-esteem, but also self-esteem in general, are “the consciousness of one’s own value, but with the awareness of one’s own limits: self-esteem means “Being at oneself”, by feeling the body and feeling well with and in it” (Grün).
Having self-esteem means, then, knowing one’s own dignity and unicity as “person”.
Therefore, by connecting to Albert Bandura’s studies, “… the person who has self-esteem is the one who is able to control and manage the different conflictual situations we encounter daily; he who has self-esteem will be able to start more initiatives, to totally take his own responsibilities and to positively accept challenges. On the contrary, he who doesn’t have self-esteem will tend to avoid his own responsibilities, in the inability to manage new situations that, as such, bring risks and interferences”.
However, how is it possible to train and enhance the athlete’s self-esteem, which is a decisive and differential factor in sports?
First of all, let’s remember that:
relaxation and concentration techniques lead to the development of the athlete’s self-esteem;
the enhancement of intellective abilities (through some sort of “mental training”) is a valid support to the increase of the athlete’s self-esteem;
there are no restrictions of age, level and sport categories in order to learn how to improve self-esteem.
Let’s use some useful tips for a “winning self-esteem” in sports:
Always reconsider, in a “productive” way, your own conviction, by recognizing your mistakes and by exchanging views with others (colleagues, allies but also rivals);
Eliminate the concept of “failure“ and activate the one of “negative event”, caused by temporary situations to react to with aware determination;
Always plan challenging goals (Goal Setting technique);
Never restrain your own emotions, but always use them in a productive way and at your own advantage;
Be persevering and creative;
Be patient in the path of increasing self-esteem: the road is long and you need to go at the right pace;
Eliminate negative behaviors and wrong habits;
Train your best talents and faculties;
Develop “Positive Thinking”;
Recognize the right gratification;
Never think that things are going bad.
With regard to the concept of self-esteem, it is interesting to recall a study by Richard Davidson, who textually affirms: “Self-efficacy follows the route of awareness to let us become what we potentially are. The more we are aware of our abilities, the more self-efficacy plays in our favor, and it fills us with courage at the right moment . And so the sport path will loosen on the thread of ‘significative favorable coincidences’, which are only apparently random”.
In conclusion, I want to remember a fundamental axiom: “Optimistic people (those who always see the glass as full!) have a view of ACTING, and they immediately activate in front of an obstacle by quickly starting “working” to remove the problem and modify the current situation. Pessimistic people, on the contrary, are mainly vulnerable and “under attack” of unpleasant situations, as they are unable to react and manage stress”.
Follow your talents and use your creativity: your self-esteem is the best trainer!
CEO and founder of Prometeo Coaching Society. He is considered a veteran of Italian Coaching. He has been a teacher and a lecturer in seminars about coaching, efficient communication, motivation and leadership for over fifteen years. He is the Education Manager of the Coaching School. Author of Migliora la tua Vita! Manuale di Self Coaching (FrancoAngeli ed.). He has trained hundreds of Coaches all around the world, led by an incredible passion for the development of human potential. Among his customers, he boasts the presence of main companies, professional athletes, show business figures and… lots of common people who wish to grow and improve.