Carlos Dinares believes in “positive affirmations”. I am no longer seeing myself in action, but saying powerful words: “you can win”. Over and over. With growing conviction. I’m talking to my inner self.
The great thing about making the rowers you coach to believe in themselves is that you bring their self confidence up and help them to believe they can win. Doubt to an athlete is POISON. Progress is made by ignoring the evidence: it is about creating a mind-set that is inmune to doubt and uncertainty.
To win, one must remove doubt, rational and irrational, from the mind. For sure to make your rowers believe they can win the first thing that needs to happen is that you as a coach need to honestly believe they can win.
As Arsene Wenger said:
” To perform to your maximum you have to teach yourself to believe with an intensity that goes beyond logical justification. No top performer has lacked this capacity for irrational optimism; no sports-man has played to his potential without the ability to remove doubt from his mind”
One of the most remarkable findings of modern psychology is the extraordinary capacity of human beings to mold the evidence to fit their beliefs rather than the other way around; it is our capacity to believe in spite of the evidence and sometimes in spite of our deeply held beliefs. And it is this capacity, more than any other, that distinguishes top athletes from the rest.
If you don’t believe on the system you have, the coach, the training or your teammates, you will have a hard time to achieve your best and become the best you can be.