Confidence is something that every player has the capability of possessing. It does not matter how tall you are, how high you can jump, or how fast you are. No matter what skill set or athleticism you have, confidence is something every player should strive to attain. Confidence can be the difference in making or missing a shot. Confidence can be the difference in winning or losing a game. Confidence can be the difference in winning a championship and losing it. You must believe that every shot you take will go in. You must feel every pass you make is going to be perfect. You must know that every decision you make will be flawless. It is easy to tell who is confident and who is not out on the floor. They got a little swagger about them; they truly believe they are better than the guy across from them, and it comes through in their game.
Be careful not to confuse confidence with cockiness… Confidence is defined as “full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing” while cocky is defined as “arrogant; pertly self-assertive; conceited.” Confusing the two can be detrimental to your reputation as a player and teammate.
So the million dollar question…How do you gain confidence?
A: Practice, practice, practice.
The more you practice, the more confident you will become in your skills. I personally built confidence through hours upon hours of playing basketball because confidence is not built overnight. It is something that every player can attain. It’s insane what a difference playing confident vs. uncertain or unsure looks like.
Confidence is built through small goals and successes stacked on top of each other. So maybe you guarded the other team’s best player for four possessions and he didn’t score—add that to your confidence. Or maybe you made the right decision in the last five seconds of the quarter and passed to the right teammate. Add that! It will add up over time and you’ll be lighting guys up before you know it.
The key to confidence is to keep it moving up and never letting it come down. If something goes wrong, don’t let it take away from the confidence you’ve built up. Let it go; everyone makes mistakes and you just need to keep pressing on and building yourself up. You won’t believe the change you will see in yourself.
– Coach Castellaw