Sports Psychology – Thoughts on Confidence, Motivation, Stress Management and Imagery

      La partner, a feeling that is hard to achieve but very satisfying! Here is one of the concepts that stuck with me the most:

Concentration → Consistency→ Confidence

In my opinion, this is the cycle that best represents the journey towards self-confidence. If I'm a basketball player and I want to dribble through my legs, I have to concentrate on my movement until I can reproduce it several times in a row. When I am able to do it without difficulty, I will have confidence. In summary, when we are fully focused on an objective, we develop a certain consistency in our practice. Which leads us to have confidence in our actions! This is an example related to sport but it is applicable in any sphere of activity.

      Besides concepts, there are also phrases that have an impact on our confidence. This has, if I may say so, created a radical change in my life: ʺ It's not about being perfect, it's about being awesome ʺ. Basically, after giving 100%, even if we don't achieve the desired results, we should be proud of our accomplishments.

      La motivation, a determining factor for one's own personal and professional development. There are three basic needs of intrinsic motivation:

  • Autonomy;
  • Skill;
  • Interpersonal Affiliation

For example, if I am a soccer player I must be able to maintain some control over the ball (competence), to go to my practices (autonomy) and to play as a team (interpersonal affiliation).

When all of these needs are met, the foundation of motivation is built. What is missing? The pleasure and the desire to do it for yourself. I want to say: ʺChange your mind, change your lifeʺ. Some people have the necessary resources but see constraints rather than challenges. They feel crushed simply because they decide to view the situation from a negative perspective. Emphasizing the positive allows you to be more serene and therefore more in control. The enthusiasm that generally accompanies motivation can then gain momentum.


      La stress management is an important point of performance. Learning to recognize and manage stressful situations is an asset during a competition. The athletes who perform best are often those who are most aware of their stress.

It's a human fact, the more you want something, the more pressure you put on yourself to achieve it. Keep in mind that every desire is associated with a fear and vice versa. For example: I want to win but I'm afraid of losing.  

Let's take a closer look at fears:

FEAR → Wrong Perception of a Reality

These often cause more stress than desires. Hence the importance of adjusting your point of view. Example: I am the best player on my team but in competition, I lose confidence in my skills.


      THEimagery, this ability to see and feel what we really want right down to the center of our own cells! It is a very effective tool that is suitable for several contexts and easily applicable on a daily basis. You can use it to motivate yourself by visualizing yourself winning a trophy or to focus on a movement to learn, you can imagine performing it in slow motion.

In conclusion, imagery as well as all the other concepts mentioned above can be used in the sports environment but also at other levels such as professional and interpersonal.


Vanessa Pare