Play With Confidence

Melissa - Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Play With Confidence

I play field hockey, and if I may say so, pretty well. Even though I was named varsity captain for next year and started most of the last season, there were still times when I went out on the field and doubted or ruminated about every play I made or whether or not I should go after the incoming ball. When I play while in this mind set, I play a totally different game and am a different player; awkward, hesitant, meek. In contrast, when I sprint out onto the field, believe in myself, my skills, and trust my own knowledge of where I should be and when, I play, as my dad says, “like a beast”.

This lack of confidence that sometimes plagues me does not only show itself on the field but can hinder my performance on the dreaded standardized tests as well. While taking the SATs for my first time, I cannot relay the number of problems that I must have gotten wrong because I second guessed myself and changed my original, correct answer, to another, wrong, answer.

These experiences have taught me the importance of being confident in myself and my abilities. My performance on the field when I am confident compared to when I am not has led me to the belief that you perform better when you exude confidence in yourself. Unfortunately, I have also come to find that confidence is the hardest skill to develop. It is not something that extra practice will improve, or your coach, friends or even family can help you find. Confidence is something that must come from within, and that each person must come to at their own time, in their own way. I believe that even if you possess the skills to play a game or the knowledge to pass a test, unless you have confidence in yourself all that proves futile. It is confidence that enables you to utilize that knowledge or those skills to the best of your ability. You may even find you are able to push beyond what you previously though possible.

Now whenever I play I remind myself that I can play, I do have what it takes to excel, that I am a beast. I confess, I am still in the developmental stage of my confidence building and can not yet say that every time I play I am completely confident in myself. But I have taken the first step in achieving that goal; understanding the importance of confidence and its effects on how I play. This I believe.