Cognitive Techniques for Building Confidence and Enhancing

January 21, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology
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Chapter 14

Cognitive Techniques for Building Confidence and Enhancing Performance Jean M. Williams, Nate Zinsser, & Linda Bunker “But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.” Michael Phelps, winner of 18 Olympic gold medals Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

Thoughts

Feelings

Behavior

• There is a direct correlation between self-confidence and success • Must understand confidence and how to enhance it in athletes • What is the relationship between thoughts and confidence? • How do self-talk and particular thinking habits influence confidence? Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

Confidence • Self-Confidence: • Feeling of assurance • Belief in one’s power • Expectation of success • Sport Confidence: • An individuals’ belief that they can do whatever it takes to be successful in their sport

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Confident Athletes • Have high: • Mental toughness • Optimism • Self-efficacy

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Mental Toughness – Related to confidence – The unshakable belief in your ability to achieve goals (Jones, Hanton, & Connaugton ) – The way some athletes can remain more determined, focused, confident, and in control better than competitors – Belief + Focus

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Optimism • Also related to confidence • Expect the best possible outcome • Focus on the most hopeful aspects of a situation • In sport, it means looking for opportunities to score, win, and excel

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Self-Efficacy • Situational-specific type of confidence • Having the expectation of succeeding at a specific task or meeting a particular challenge

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Misconceptions about Confidence • Either you have it or you don’t • Only positive feedback can build confidence • Success always builds confidence • Confidence = outspoken arrogance • Mistakes inevitably destroy confidence

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Prerequisites for Gaining Confidence 1. Understanding the interaction of thought and performance • Confident athletes deliberately direct thoughts to produce powerful feelings  improves performance 2. Cultivate honest self-awareness • “Am I really thinking in a way that will give me the best chance of success?”

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Prerequisites for Gaining Confidence (cont.) 3. Develop an optimistic explanatory style • Explanatory style = the way an athlete internally responds to events that occur in his or her life • Optimistic explanatory style views errors as temporary and atypical, views successes as more permanent, general, and indicative of true ability • Explanatory style has 3 dimensions: • Permanence • Pervasiveness • Personalization Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

Prerequisites for Gaining Confidence (cont.) 4. Embrace a psychology of excellence • Go for your dreams • Focus on your successes • Be your best friend, biggest fan and greatest coach • Create your own reality

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Self-Talk • Dialogue with yourself • Giving yourself instructions and reinforcement or interpreting what you are feeling • Can be out loud or inside your head • Self-talk is an asset when it enhances self-worth and performance • Key to cognitive control

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Constructive vs. Destructive Self-Talk • Constructive: • • • •

Fosters positive expectancies Enhances self-worth and confidence Enhances performance Appropriately focuses attention on the task

• Destructive: • • • •

Focuses on what you don’t want (usually is negative) Distracting to the task at hand So frequent it disrupts automatic performance Engage in derogatory self-labeling (e.g. loser, choker) Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

Uses for Self-Talk • Skill acquisition and performance • Use words to cue action • Learning: technique cue words • As skills improve: strategies/feeling cues • Self-talk to direct attentional focus • Changing bad habits • Focus on desired outcome vs. error

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Uses for Self-Talk (cont.) • Attention control • Remain in the present tense • Create/change affect or mood • Control effort • Building self-efficacy and confidence • Adoption/maintenance exercise behavior

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Identifying Self-Talk • Athletes need to develop awareness around the ways in which they talk to themselves in different types of situations • Identify what kind of thinking helps, what thoughts are harmful, and what situations are associated with this talk • Must know when and how to talk to yourself

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3 effective tools for identifying self-talk 1. Retrospection • Re-create the thoughts and feelings that occurred prior to and during a good or bad performance • Recall the specific circumstances that led to the thoughts and resulting performance 2. Imagery • Recreating all relevant sensory experiences of a past performance 3. Self-talk log • Keep a thought awareness logbook • What do I say before, during, and following my good and poor performances? • How frequently am I talking to myself? Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

Techniques for Controlling Self-Talk • Thought stoppage • Changing negative thoughts to positive thoughts • Countering • Reframing • ABC cognitive restructuring • Affirmation statements • Mastery and coping tapes • Video technology Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

Thought Stoppage • Method for eliminating counterproductive thoughts • Become aware of unwanted thought • Use a trigger to interrupt or stop the undesirable thought • Practice by combining it with imagery of past performance • Might be difficult for some to suppress an unwanted thought • Beware: focusing on suppressing unwanted thoughts can increase them Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

Changing Negative Thoughts to Positive Thoughts • Use when thought stoppage does not work • Learn to couple any negative thought with a positive thought that provides support or appropriately redirects attention • Switch to a positive thought as soon as you are aware of a dysfunctional self-statement • Combine this technique with a relaxation • Stop the negative thought • Take a deep breath • Slowly exhale and substitute the selfenhancing thought as body relaxes Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

Countering • An internal dialogue that uses facts and reasons to refute the underlying beliefs and assumptions that led to negative thinking • Use this technique if the athlete still believes in the negative statements • Identify and build a case against the negative selfstatements • Use past evidence and future possibilities to refute underlying beliefs that led to dysfunctional thinking • Argue against the dysfunctional and for the more functional self-talk Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

Reframing • The process of creating alternative frames of reference or different ways of looking at the world • Interpret situations in a more positive way • Can transform weakness/difficulty into a strength /possibility • Does not deny or downplay what the athlete is experiencing or encourage the athlete to ignore something troublesome

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Irrational and Distorted Beliefs • Perfection is essential: Must be thoroughly competent, successful, and achieving in all possible respects • Catastrophizing: Expect disaster, worst-case scenario (awfulizing) • Worth depends on achievement: You are your accomplishments • Personalization: Everything is some kind of reaction to you Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

Irrational and Distorted Beliefs (cont.) • Fallacy of fairness and ideal conditions: Expect fair treatment/ideal conditions and resentful when others don’t agree with your definition of fairness • Blaming: Make excuses/blame others or, at the other extreme, unreasonable self-blame • All-or-nothing thinking and labeling: No shades of grey – often judgmental and prone to negative labels.

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Irrational and Distorted Beliefs (cont.) • One-trial generalizations: Form general conclusions based on a single incident or piece of evidence • Shoulds: List of ironclad rules for behaviour - get angry or feel guilty when violated • Emotional reasoning: What you feel must be true

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Modifying Irrational and Distorted Thinking • ABC Cognitive Restructuring • Based on REBT by Albert Ellis • Helps identify and dispute irrational beliefs in maladaptive thinking • The idea is that it’s faulty thinking, not the situation, causes the deleterious emotional reaction and behavior • The ultimate goal = create such awareness that athletes immediately recognize and dispute dysfunctional self-talk

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ABC Cognitive Restructuring

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Affirmation Statements • Statement that reflect positive attitudes or thoughts about oneself • Positive action-oriented statement • The most effective affirmations are both believable and vivid • State in present tense and avoid perfectionistic demands • Use a self-esteem list to help create affirmations • Write/say many times • Once the affirmation becomes true, choose another and begin again Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

Coping and Mastery Self-Talk Tapes or Files • Mastery self-talk tape/file: • Voice describes a perfect performance including ideal thoughts, feelings, and emotions experienced just before, during, and after performance • Coping self-talk tape/file: • Allows the athlete to practice dealing with all the potential things that could go wrong by describing a negative situation and bad reaction but then rehearsing coping strategies and processes for regaining control/confidence

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Coping and Mastery Self-Talk Tapes or Files (cont.) • Videotape, CDs, or DVDs:

• Splice personal or team highlights (select performances where athletes excel at the skills or strategies currently needing emphasis); watch many times while imaging the action, with accompanying emotions and self-talk

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