It is essential that an athlete be able to evaluate their performance so they can recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their performance. More importantly, it is essential to understand how these individual skills come together to create an overall performance. Even the most skilled athletes recognize that there is always room for improvement.
The key is not letting these self-evaluations decrease confidence. Take tennis player Roger Federer, a strong player who realistically evaluates his performance. He knows the skills he needs to work on, yet he does not let this distract him from his game.
There are 3 common trends for self-evaluation.
1. Athletes who recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and understand how their skill set impacts their overall performance. They do not let this interfere with their overall confidence. Instead, they utilize this information to set new goals and provide motivation for continued improvement. This also allows for more thorough preparation for competition as athletes often compare their skill set to that of their opponents to strategize.
2. Athletes who recognize only their strengths. While this may enhance confidence, itâ€™s not a realistic picture of oneâ€™s performance. Athletes may focus all their energy on the positive; however, this makes it difficult to set personal goals for improvement. Also, this makes it difficult to prepare for competition.
3. Athletes who only recognize their weaknesses. This results in low confidence. Also, if an athlete only focuses on what they do wrong it can result in a self-fulfilling prophecy. This may also make a sport less enjoyable and increase frustration, which ultimately may lead to quitting.
What category do you fall into? Not sure? Or do you recognize a need for a change? Maybe you drift back and forth between more than one of these trends? A consultant at SPINW can help you evaluate your process of self-evaluation, and will help you develop a more constructive process that will enhance overall performance.
About the Author: Lisa Peetz received an M.A. in Sports and Exercise Psychology. Lisa is an avid runner who appreciates and is addicted to marathon running. She uses her athletic experience in her mental skills training by individualizing skills to be both sports and life specific.