Make sure to have it / Aaron Johnson
Published 12:00 am, Friday, October 6, 2017
Supreme confidence is key when it comes to winning in sports. It is the feeling than can continue a team through a hot streak. But it can also be the thing that can bring a team — or player — back from a slum.
The importance of having confidence is something that is often overlooked at the high school level. Although it is evident in each game any given sport.
When a player is struggling, the tough stretch normally continues due to some kind of mental block that is in the way.
A player can start to press when they aren’t performing to the level that their abilities and skill would typically provide. The frustration begins to set in, and in the worse cases, doubt can begin to infiltrate the mind of a player.
This can be an issue on a team level. After a couple of tough losses, the mentality of the team can start to diminish. The confidence that was there at the beginning of the season can begin to feel like a foreign concept for both players and coaches.
While this is going on, the slippery slope that was once a promising season has now become a shell of its former glory and all the hard work and success from weeks prior can go to waste.
Getting back confidence is something that everyone struggles with at some time, but it is the best teams that can find it in the darkness of adversity and also continue to let it flourish in times of great success.
For the Staples volleyball team, this season has been a roller coaster of big wins and hard losses, but senior Amanda Troelstra said that it will take the team having belief in each other that will lead them on to FCIAC success.
“Having confidence in hitting and the basic fundamentals of volleyball,” she said. “We should be able to accomplish our goals for FCIACs and state.”
Even for teams that are having strong campaigns in 2017, finding confidence after a rough stretch can be just as difficult as never having it at all.
Staples girls soccer coach Barry Beattie said despite two tough losses to Brien McMahon and Trumbull this season — his team has continued to refind their confidence and it has help to guide them to top of the FCIAC standings.
“I think when we come to practice they’re always high level but they have a real belief in every single player on the team,” he said. “We have a lot of kids here, close to 29, and every single on of them are friends and they all support each other and in women’s soccer it makes a huge difference when you have the full backing of all your teammates.”
The confidence from teammates during a tough stretch can mean the difference in the successes and failures of a player and ultimately the team.
After a win for each girls soccer and volleyball — confidence is riding high for both squads. But they key for them — and the other teams around Westport — will be maintaining the confidence when it is high and getting it back when things aren’t going good.
That is the difference between a good team and a great one.