C. Adair Lyden - MileSplit Correspondent
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You've missed the mark. Lately you find yourself skipping practice and wondering why your motivation is not at the level it once was.
Your passion, and your fire for the sport, seems to be fizzling.
"Just believe in yourself."
"It's easy, you just have to believe."
"When you believe, practice is simple."
Time and time again we hear professional athletes, coaches, and teammates preach belief, but what does it truly mean to foster belief within yourself?
Here are three ideas to practice when it comes to owning belief.
Counter the Fluffy Stuff With An Attitude That Works
Belief is more than the words, "I can do this."
There is a reason why a complex idea is simplified into one phrase. Athletes can credit their success to it, but sometimes it seems intimidating and almost so removed from reality.
This simple phrase does not do belief justice. Belief is more than the affirmations you tell yourself before practice or a race. It far deeper than the surface.
Switch your thinking to counter fluffy belief. Change your mentality from, "Yeah, I can do this," to:
- "I can do this because I have showed up every day to practice and given my all."
- "I am strong because I spend five days a week building my body and mind at practice."
- "I will succeed because I pushed my body when I wanted to quit. I didn't give up."
When you root simple statements into truth, you make this happen. You can do this because you have achieved something great.
Belief is like a wildfire. It's not always going to be sparks and flames. It can be a dull, consistent burn.
Make sure to counter the fluff with an attitude that works.
Eliminate Belief That Works Against You
You've heard the toxic voice in your head, the one that hinders your pursuit towards your goals.
"I'm not really a..."
"I can't do this..."
"Why should I try?"
The more you listen to this voice, the stronger it gets, until it's the only thing in your head. You start to believe it.
If you can eliminate that voice, you will free your body and mind to perform to the best of your ability.
Become a Coachable Athlete
Believing in yourself comes with a small qualifier: Be coachable.
Belief thrives on trust. When you can trust your coach and your training, you will begin to see positive change not only in yourself but amongst the team.
Trusting the training that's been given to you, and insight from coaches, should take a weight off your chest. Trusting those around you will and the leaders who have helped you along the way will work toward raising your confidence.
Be a leader on your team who seeks to learn, thrive, and improve. When you are eager to follow a coach's instruction and training plan, you will see others follow in your footsteps.
Belief is rooted in truth. When you believe a positive truth about yourself, your coach, and your training, you will begin to see a passionate fire for the sport continue and it will burn in your heart.
As Kathrine Switzer, the American marathon runner once said, "All you need is the courage to believe in yourself and put one foot in front of the other."
Have the courage to become a coachable athlete who roots belief in truth.
Just believe in yourself, it's not easy, but that's the beauty of it.
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