Are you in control of your own level of confidence prior to competition? Do you know how to harness the power of a confident mindset quickly when needed?

If not, you need to take action - take confident action. Many athletes make the mistake of not taking responsibility for their own confidence level before the game or match starts.

These athletes think that confidence can only come from immediate positive results - such as making a birdie, serving an ace, or throwing a touchdown pass. However, this type of confidence is only temporary and fleeting at best.

Yes, confidence follows great performances and positive results, but what happens if the game or match starts by not performing your best? Does that mean you don't deserve to have confidence that day?

I hope you don't think this way. Real confidence does not sway like a flag in the wind and fluctuate rapidly based upon the outcome of the last shot, play, or point. Real confidence is based on years of past success (or learning from failure) and effective training.

This leads to taking action with your confidence. I want you to perform your best every time you compete. Having full belief or confidence in your ability (absent of doubt) is a must-have mindset to perform your best.

Do you think Tiger Woods waits until he makes his first birdie of the day or Derek Jeter needs to get his first hit before confidence can kick in? The top athletes take action with their confidence before they even hit the playing fields.

How do you take action with your confidence? First, you must understand that confidence is a long-term project based on years of practice and experience and not just the last moment of your performance.

Second, by not letting doubt crush the confidence you have earned recently. And third, by focusing on success and what you want to have happen instead of being overtaken by worry about making mistakes.

Author's Bio: 

Want to learn simple, proven mental toughness skills that you can apply to competition? Grab my free online mental training newsletter, Sports Insights Magazine - for athletes, coaches, and sports parents:
Dr. Patrick Cohn is a master mental game coach who work with professional and amateur athletes, sports parents, and teams of all levels. Visit for more information.