The Auburn Tigers find themselves with their backs against the wall as they prepare to play Vanderbilt this Saturday. No one could have forecasted the Tigers would be in this position back in the pre season. The team finds itself reeling and in desperate need of a shot of confidence.
But that’s a tall order for players that have started the season 1-5. In fact when your on a losing streak, the toughest thing for a team is to get their confidence back.
Confidence is the critical missing link. It is the expectation of success. The bridge between hope and performance.
Nothing builds confidence like winning and nothing destroys confidence like losing.
College football is suppose to be fun but there is nothing fun about losing. For the fans a losing streak can be frustrating, disappointing, and discouraging. For a team … a losing streak can be devastating.
Players still want to win but with the lack of confidence, their performance becomes not as focused and their execution not as sharp.
As a Chinese proverb goes, “A mind focused on doubt and fear cannot focus on the journey to victory.”
When things are down, it seems like nothing can go right. That’s how depressed teams feel. That’s why even talented teams go through losing streaks.
Sometimes it seems …
when things are going good, it feels as if they will always be going good. Players come to believe they can succeed every time they hit the field.
But confidence decreases during losing streaks with the experience of setbacks, mental mistakes, and losses – which makes it harder to have the confidence to come back.
Just as winning becomes contagious, losing becomes contagious.
So how does a team break out of that spiral?
First, players need to be able to feel that they are supported by the fans as well as the coaches. Auburn’s 2010 slogan, “All In” was effective because there’s simply no substitute for feeling like everyone is behind you.
Second, they have to do the basic things right. Former NFL Coach Bill Parcells says the way to break out of the cycle, is for teams to not focus on the fear of losing another game but rather on the positive things that happen during the game.
Positives like concentrating on the fundamentals. Gaining confidence by blocking, tackling, and executing. And ultimately winning the victory.
It only takes one win to get three weeks of bad tastes out of their mouths. That confidence can begin this Saturday, on Dudley Field in Nashville. One win. That’s all it takes. Just one win.
Go Tigers. Beat the Dores!
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