Today, during practice 9 with a team of OSU gymnasts, we learned the recipe for building confidence isn’t as mysterious as we might have believed. The recipe for building sustainable confidence is always rooted in one thing and one thing only – deepening competence. So, today, we began to look in the mirror and calmly assess our current state. We wrote about our level of competence in our domain. We identified the source of our negative script. For some it went way back to Boise State. For others it went even further back to good ole Mom or well intentioned Dad.
We learned we don’t change the crazy script in our head. Good to know ’cause it’s been driving me nuts trying to change the crazy kid in my head all these years. Good to know. You see, we don’t need another script, we simply need to take away the power of the old one. The best way is the quiet way. When we study the elite, they don’t listen to that little voice any longer. When the white hot moments come the elite are, well, quiet.
The elite don’t hear the crowd, coach, or the crazy little voice in their head. The elite have trained the brain to go quietly and trust their training. Today, a team of really great gymnasts learned the best way to a better dismount is to build the skill that scares them and quiet the old script with, well, nothing. A few learned the best way to stop telling themselves they can’t leap, is to take the leap. A few learned to be the change they want to see in the gym instead of wondering why somebody else isn’t. And, a few learned they need to be a bit more like little Eddie and loosen up their Francis (as in Francis Quimet). You know, when you think about it, we all can encourage a teammate without worrying about our turn. I mean when it’s game time, you gotta trust your training. Sitting around and ruminating about your routine isn’t actually gonna make it better. Focusing on your teammate for a few minutes and getting out of your head, just might give your teammate the mojo they’ve been missing. Who knows, you might just get what you give. I mean, come on man, what can it hurt to give it a try?
Today, a team of gymnasts learned about learned optimism, learned helplessness, mindset, and the power of belief. Today, a team got better as we practiced facing fears together. We wrote it out and shouted it out too. Fear took a hit. Love gained some mo. Today, a team of gymnasts nailed it. Today, some little voices grew a bit more quiet. Tomorrow those same voices are gonna grow even quieter. Who knows, with a little laughter, some skill development, some good coaching, a little Ghandi, and just the right dose of cheerleading, these gymnasts just might nail a 9.9. I see it coming. I believe it can be done. In fact, I’m betting on it. God knows, these girls are good enough. Someday soon, they’re gonna know it too. They’re beginning to believe. Someday soon they’re gonna be filled with and brimming with competence based confidence.