chapter  54
10 Pages


ByRobin S. Vealey, Dan Vernau

Athletes know two things about confidence. One, confidence makes them feel bulletproof. When they believe in themselves – that they have the resources and abilities to perform successfully – their performances flow automatically and easily. Two, athletes also know that confidence is fragile. Certain circumstances, such as failure in a critical competitive moment, can lead to chinks in athletes’ bulletproof armors, or even a total collapse of confidence and an inability to successfully perform a skill in competition. Elite athletes have stated that the most important ingredient in mental toughness is a deeply rooted self-confidence that is strong and resilient in the face of setbacks and obstacles (Bull, Shambrook, James, & Brooks, 2005).