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Being competent in your given sport is essential if you are to succeed. With competence brings confidence, and with both of these factors on your side, you will be ready to achieve your goals.

What is competence?

Competence is the belief in ourselves that we are capable of taking on any challenge, any task, confident in our ability to succeed and willing to learn what is needed to achieve.

Competence isn’t just having the skill, or natural ability, behind your chosen sport, but it is also the mindset behind being an athlete. It is about being confident in your own abilities, and if you are not, it is about learning what is needed to achieve your goal of confidence.

Therefore, developing competence is essential if you want to succeed in every aspect of your life, as well as sport.

Competence and confidence

Competence and confidence go hand in hand. Being competent means you have confidence in what you are doing. The more competent you are, the more confidence that you have in your performance as an athlete. The more confidence you have, the more likely you are to seek out ways to become more competent.

Those people who are more competent will search for new challenges, confident that they will find success again.

Developing competence

To develop your own competency and confidence levels, you must start small. It is easy to think that you are able to shoot a -2 70 round of golf, but if you try and fail, you may not feel confident enough to keep going. That’s why you start on the driving range. Once you have hit many straight balls down the range, then you are ready to work on your short game.

Imagine that you want to succeed at the high jump in the Olympics and you want to beat the World Record of 2.45m for men. Would you start by setting the bar that high? Or even at 2m if you were new to the sport? No, you would set yourself an easier target to practice the technique.The same theory applies for building competence. If you start easy and get progressively harder, you are maximising your chance of succeeding at each level. Every time you do succeed your confidence and competence levels grow until you are ready to try the next step.

Don’t skip too far forward in your training; if you miss vital steps then you may not succeed at your chosen level. This will push your competence down. Keep increasing gradually until you can make the jump to your target.

Developing competence is a step-by-step process, and it can take a while. Start by building your confidence with smaller, easier tasks and work your way up to your goal, be it a 70 round of golf, or to run a marathon.

Eventually, you will have both the competence and confidence you achieve your goals.