Tonight I went skiing in the resort for my second time this year! I went with my 9 year old litter brother, little sister, older brother, and Dad. I was there to have a good time with my family and help Cannon (my 9 yr old brother) progress as a skier. We skied at Nordic Valley in Ogden which is a great place for beginner skiers as it doesn’t have a lot of difficult terrain, and nothing appears intimidating while going up the lift.
Even though it is a beginner resort, we did make a mistake at the beginning. We took Cannon up to the top, where the terrain is steep enough that it was really scary for him. It was interesting to see what happened as fear entered his head. He completely seized up, and any high performance went out the window. He ended up struggling/crying/being upset until about halfway down where I opted to just cary him.
We had taken him out of his comfort zone too soon. He needed confidence, not fear.
So we went to the most beginner lift which is pretty much flat. It was cool though because they had built a pump track of sorts that was fun for all of us to ski. Cannon quickly got excited and his ability’s to ski came back again. He started making better turns, and looking more comfortable, and most importantly, he was loving it.
Once the fear had left, he became completely fearless, bombing down at full tuck, no turns, making me a little bit nervous, especially as he launched uncontrollably off the rollers on the pump track. But what changed? Just an hour before, this same kid was screaming on the hill because he was terrified of sliding down the mountain. Now he was trying to go as fast as he possibly could and launching off the rollers at full tilt catching a decent amount of air, and sometimes crashing. What changed is that he gained confidence.
If there was a secret ingredient to high performing it’s confidence. Confidence does wonders in helping people perform well. With it, they can do almost anything it. Without it, they can do almost nothing.
So how do you gain confidence? Well, that would take a semester of Sports Psychology to fully explain, but I do think there are a couple of keys.
- Do what you’re good at. If you don’t know what you’re good at, try stuff. Try stuff until you find out what you’re good at.
- Surround yourself with people who hype you up. People who instill confidence in you. People who believe in you.
Confidence is key.