How to Build Confidence in Diving
Wouldn't it be great if there was a magic pill you could swallow and instantly boost your inner confidence? Unfortunately, this pill has not been created — not yet anyways! Confidence is important; especially so in the sport of diving. It is often the difference between a good diver and a great one.
There are some tried and true methods that will help you grow into a more confident diver. The sections below include three tips that you can work on everyday to increase your confidence and improve your overall performance.
1. Take Action
Confidence isn't always innate. It doesn't just come naturally to everyone. You have to take daily action in order for genuine inner strength to develop. Although they can be challenging, here are a few simple plans of action that you can incorporate into your daily decisions that should help:
- Practice: When you're training, work to accomplish every dive in your list. Train as if you were competing. That means no balking, stalling, or playing around when on the boards. Get serious and get to work.
- Optional list: Work on your optional dive list. This is especially important for the dives that scare you the most. The way to get over hesitance is to take action. Continue working at it and your fear will soon diminish.
- Competition: Compete as often as you can! Competition makes you a better diver. It forces you to face your fears, and teaches you how to dive under pressure.
When you gain skills — such as learning harder dives, or perfecting specifics within a dive — you gain confidence. When you know you can perform a dive well, your confidence will soar.
2. Set Goals
The process of setting both long-term and short-term goals will help build confidence. Once you know exactly where you want to go, you can work to achieve it. Step-by-step analysis can help you conquer uncertainty and give you a confidence boost.
During the process of achieving your goals, try to grow from your experiences. Both good and bad experiences can provide you with useful lessons. Set goals and work hard to achieve them, but stay realistic and positive. Not all goals get accomplished. Relish in the ones that do, and re-evaluate the ones that don't. To learn more about goal setting, take a look at iSport's guide How to Set Goals in Diving.
3. Believe in Yourself
To have a confident outlook, you must learn how to train your inner thoughts towards positive talk. What you say to yourself — inside and outside of the pool — affects how you perform. Before you can accomplish anything, you need to first believe that you can.
The best way to build your confidence is to try and then try again. Failure is often the best teacher. If you can see failure as a pathway toward success, you can — and will — increase your inner confidence.
This step sounds so simple, but when you've tried to learn a skill and continue to fail, it can be very difficult to believe in your ability. However, this skill is vital to building confidence. Here are some tips that can help you on your path:
- Self talk: Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself. Keep your words and thoughts positive. Focus on genuinely positive beliefs, and know that you can accomplish anything when you put your mind to it. Re-think how you are talking to yourself so you can treat yourself more kindly!
- Dedication: It takes dedication and desire to push past the negative and accomplish the positive. Listen to your coach and believe what he/she tells you. Your coach is there to encourage and motivate you. Pay attention to the advice he/she gives.
- Positive energy: Learn to achieve positive energy by re-focusing your inner thoughts. Skills such as meditation, stretching, and breathing techniques may help keep your mind focused and energized.
One Step at a Time
Gaining confidence is a process — it won't happen overnight. Give yourself some time and slowly work through any difficulties. Avoid asking “what if? Set-backs are bound to happen, but don't let them discourage you. Pick yourself up, trust your abilities, and keep going!
Building confidence is not an easy task. Far from it! Give an earnest effort, take your time, and watch as your confidence soars. The proof of your hard work will show in your performance!