Just before an important game, do you ever feel stressed and afraid that you won’t perform as well as you or others expected?

Do you ever doubt your abilities?

Here’s an effective way to build confidence in any event, in training and in games.

Two types of reaction to performance

When you perform an action, whether it is a throw, a cut, a mark or a defensive cover, during or after this action you can react in two ways:

  1. You can make a judgment ;
  2. or you can make a comment.

You make a judgment when you express your opinion about your performance. You say your action is good, or bad, or better than any other. A judgment is subjective and focuses on the good or bad.

For example, after a throw you might judge it not to be good. You could add to that by saying that your long hucks are bad today. You then express your opinion.

You make a comment when you observe what is happening, and then describe an objective reality that does not depend on anyone’s opinion. A comment is objective and focuses on the true and the false.

For example, after a throw you might think that the disc flew over the target and hit the ground outside the boundaries of the field. You then express facts.

When you analyze your performance, what type of reaction do you most often use? Do you tend to make judgments or comments?

“Confidence really comes from what we say to ourselves.”
Michael Gervais, Seattle Seahawks mental coach

Judgment and comment: impacts on your performance

A judgment, especially when it is negative, opens the door to emotions and can affect your confidence. When you say that your action is not good, you attribute a negative value to your action. You may feel frustrated or stressed and your confidence gradually decreases. Over time, your judgments are less and less about your performance and more about yourself, as an athlete and then as a human being.

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