Do You Need Confidence?

When you’re Victoria Azarenka, the best player on the planet, you can say things like this:

”I think confidence is very overrated. It’s something invisible, right? Something you cannot explain. Every time you step on the court, you try to find a way to beat your opponent. One word, ‘confidence,’ is not going to help you. You have to go through the tough moments, the pain, the ache, the nerves … you have to go through all of that. You just have to accept you’re a normal human being and you’re going to go through all of that. Just one word, ‘confidence,’ I don’t know.”

It made me think. Is she simply young and naive? Or is she a Zen master? By accepting that she’s not going to feel invincible every time she competes and playing anyway shows a maturity way beyond her years.

Confidence comes from feedback: training, competing and having a successful outcome. It’s when the outcomes, over which you have no control, fall short of your expectations that you have to reassess the importance of confidence.

When she won in Australia this year, I thought she would just fall back into the pack of the top ten players who were capable of winning a major.

Now, I think I’ll pay more attention.

(from Courtney Nguyen’s Beyond the Baseline)

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