Thursday, October 13, 2011

To Perform Great You Need Confidence, Here's How to Do It: Entry 2 of 5

Blog Entry 2: Personality and Awareness: The Foundation of Confidence

The first 2 levels of the Pyramid of Confidence are your personality and self-awareness. You need to know yourself to understand what gives you confidence, what takes it away, and how you react to certain situations – basically what you bring to the table as a person that affects your hockey.

Your Personality

Here is an exercise that is important to knowing yourself. When you think about the self or "I" write down the thoughts that come to mind for a minute. Do not filter the thoughts just write down what comes to mind. Then, review your list and see if it accurately describes you. Do the same for the hockey player “I”. Then, ask someone that knows you well these questions about you. It will be interesting to see what they have to say and how it compares to your own thoughts. You will learn a great deal about yourself!

Your personality determines how you view the things that happen to you. Are you very anxious prior to games or relaxed and loose? If you have a personality where you are nervous in many life situations than you may have a trait anxious personality (or a consistent feeling of threat in many different situations) and this of course applies to hockey, as well. So, if you tend to feel very nervous before games and think about the consequences (probably making them bigger than they really are) than you likely have an anxious personality type.

The expectations you place on yourself also has to do with your personality. Do you have very high standards and expect perfection? If so, you might be considered a perfectionist, especially if you are like that in many parts of your life (school, home, friends, family). Perfectionism is partially good, you expect a lot of yourself and are motivated to do it, but unfortunately the dark side of perfectionism is that you beat yourself up when you don’t meet your unattainable high standards. Are you often unhappy with your performance despite others like teammates, coaches, and parents telling you that you played well? Do you frequently break down your performances and focus on the things you did wrong? You may be perfectionistic.

Other personality traits can really make a difference in your confidence, as well. Are you an optimist (see the glass as half full, expect things will turn out well) or a pessimist (glass is half empty; expect things won’t turn out well)? Optimism-pessimism create self-fulfilling prophecies. Think about a pink elephant. What are you seeing? A pink elephant even though we both know they do not exist. Have you ever thought in your mind that you would make a tape to tape pass and send your linemate in for a scoring chance? And then it happened? It is not the ability to see the future, sorry. The great pass and scoring chance happened because you were looking for the opportunity to make a play and focused on the play around you, not on your feelings or thoughts. Optimism is a trait that has been found in Olympians that have won multiple gold medals.

Get to know yourself better. Go to for the free Know Yourself activity.

In the next blog entry I will present how daily habits of hard work and preparation are a part of the foundation for confidence. And why if you are habits are not productive that you are undermining your own confidence.

Know Thyself

The second layer of the pyramid you are already working on; awareness. The successful hockey player knows him or herself very well. They know what affects their confidence negatively and positively. Here are two questions for you to think about…

What things or situations trigger you to have more confidence?

What things or situations trigger you to have less confidence?

Of the things you listed how many do you have complete control over to make happen? For instance, if you are waiting on someone else to praise you so you feel confident then you are basing your confidence on something you do not control. If you don’t have control over many of these factors then you better plan to deal with them, or substitute other ways of being confident!

Pay Attention to these 3 Things:

  1. Think about how you are limiting yourself by the way you’re thinking. (Remember ceilings are self-imposed)

  1. Recognize how your personality influences your confidence. If you are pessimistic by nature then you will have to work at being positive in tough situations.

3.   Know the Situations/Triggers that can cause you to lose confidence and how you are performing in those situations.
Want to read more about Knowing Yourself as a hockey player and person. Read this article on the AASP website,

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