I have seen players go from pure brilliance to struggling with the basics. All because of something that can’t be seen!
Anyone who trains with us knows we are HUGE on the quality of the lacrosse balls and believe the stick matters in being a great player. However, nothing is more valuable than confidence. On and off the field! Winston Churchill was famous for saying “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all the others.” And I truly believe you can’t play fearless without being fully filled with confidence.
So as a player where do we begin? Is it like turning on the lights?
It is a battle on two fronts which both can be fortified through very intentional action.
The importance of having a positive and supportive environment cannot be overstated. Especially at a young age when the approval of teammates can be more influential than coaches. Harrison and I work so hard to make the environment of training the most encouraging and empowering place players have ever been. We are coaches - our job is to shine light and begin writing new futures for the players. Possibilities are limitless when a player is filled with the confidence to go for it and be themselves.
Practically, work to spark a culture of support and encouragement on your team. Do not let negativity stay in the air for long - if you hear it - fill and clean the air with something empowering. I have seen groups crushed by a collective lack in belief that ruins any momentum or potential they once had.
For players the personal investment looks different and is done outside of practice when nobody is watching.
To keep this brief, Harrison and I go by the formula “Self-confidence = Self-Trust.” Have I proven and reaffirmed to myself that I am capable of making the catch, throwing the pass, and winning the matchup. This is done through practice. Silent, isolated, and intentional practice. Not looking for praise, but with the purpose of preparation. A prepared player is a confident player.
We are proud of our system for building self-confidence and look forward to inviting players to begin their journey with the tools and experiences we provide.
My immediate encouragement is to focus on the environment - then look at the person in the mirror and make sure thoughts, beliefs, and conduct all align. Who do I say I am? Do my actions align?
Lastly, similar to training - self-forgiveness is so important when building the personal credit piggy bank. One shot does not define you as a shooter, and on the journey one day of weakened discipline does not determine your destination or commitment.
It is one day at a time. Not linear, but incremental. Every player has the ability to fully invest in the process of progress. What matters is you don’t quit.
Additional note: over my five years of playing at Carolina nothing has been more critical than confidence, at the same time nothing has been more unstable. It is a daily commitment, a deep belief, and constant battle that maintains this necessary detail of individual and team success.
The outcome is a worthy pursuit.