I’m sure every athlete has their own theory and draws confidence from many different places. For me, my confidence on the field during a game is directly connected to the amount of preparation I’ve put into training.
There are levels to it—without a doubt—but ultimately, it comes down to everything I’ve done leading up to game day.
It starts with off-season training. Did you meet your goals? Did you get stronger? Faster? More skilled? Understand breaking down film better?
Generally, no matter what sport you play, the offseason is the time to get healthy and get better. If you spend your offseason putting in the work to improve your game in every aspect, that can only make you more confident heading into the season. Whether it was in college, or in the pros, every offseason I’ve had has been dedicated to improvement in some capacity—and I’ve been confident in my ability every preseason, or training camp because of the work I put in.
When getting more specific and talking about confidence on game day, that’s more directed at your preparation all week long. One of my favorite parts of being an athlete and being in season is the new challenges week to week. You can study the tendencies of your opponent on film all week long, work on the movements you’ll need to do that weekend to be successful on the field all week long, and prepare mentally for the type of game you’re about to compete in.
Week in and week out, during the season, everything comes down to what you do Monday through Friday to prepare for THAT game. The beautiful part about being in season is every weekend is different and requires a different type of preparation. Sometimes, it will be more time in the film room locking in tendencies of your opponent. Sometimes (lacrosse specific) it will be taking more repetitions out on the field because the goalie you’re shooting on during the game plays a certain way so, you’ll need to adjust your style.
Ultimately, the amount of time you commit to your game outside of required team events (practice, film, etc.) will determine how comfortable and confident you are on game day. If you manage your time correctly and make it a priority to be as prepared as possible for game day, both physically and mentally, the confidence will follow.
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The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.
Kyle Harrison is a DonJoy Performance® Sponsored Athlete.