Three years ago I was challenged to bring an element of academics and writing to the Advanced Weight Training class. How could this be done, especially in a class such as this and would it be useful? There were plenty of topics I always wanted to discuss with the athletes, but with the nature of the class never got to discuss in a group setting. With the introduction of a new online class structure, discussion posts are now utilized in class. They have been a tremendous teaching tool that I have utilized and believe the kids have benefited from. The discussion always includes an article to help jump start their thinking. I make sure to stress the idea of “thinking outside the box” within the field of athletics and strength and conditioning. Some of the topics have included: energy drinks pros and cons, the importance of sleep, the culture of Stanford’s football program, and many other topics along the way. This past school year a discussion was posted on the topic of “Self Confidence” and how athletics helps to shape a student athletes’ self-confidence and vice versa. Below are some of the responses that were discussed during the assignment.
“I think athletics and self-confidence work together, and the more self-confident you are the better you are going to perform, and visa versa.”
“Self-confidence definitely helps as an athlete because it gives athletes a better ability to go perform the task at hand…. Self-confidence is important because it gives athletes the ability to act on their instincts and not have to hesitate with their decisions.”
“Self-confidence is necessary for the success of every athlete. Although self-confidence may increase due to impressive athletic performances, it is vital to have going into any life activity. With self-confidence people are better able to tackle obstacles that they may face. I have found that with self-confidence I am able to achieve more and overcome anxiety I may face.”
“Self-confidence definitely helps me as an athlete. With volleyball, you need to be confident in the training you’ve had and your abilities that you can get to every ball and if you make a mistake, you can make it up and get the next one. Self-confidence helps one to believe in the training they’ve received and that they can achieve goals they set for themselves.”
How cool is that?! Those are just a small sample of the 167 responses that were generated during this Discussion. High school athletes realize the importance of athletics both during their competitive years as well as the years to follow. Athletics serves as one more way to build and shape their self-confidence which allows them to fully achieve their God given potential. As written in 2 Timothy 1:7, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Self-confidence is within us; we just need an avenue to allow it to flow throughout.