Can A Coach’s Confidence Affect Player Performance?

January 17, 2012

- See all 177 of my articles

Taking a sports angle on a bigger topic this week.

What can confidence, or belief in someone really achieve?

This year in the NFL we have seen two of the largest examples of this in recent memory.

First, (and apologies here as many have already beaten this to horse glue) but look at Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos. Ridiculed by many, he took a team that was 1-4 to start the year and made them an 8-8 club. He led the Broncos to a division title, beat the defending AFC Champions Steelers in his first ever playoff game. Lucky? Overachiever?


The fact is that Tim Tebow has shown at the college level and now the professional level that he is a great leader. Teammates believe in him. Obviously I am not on the practice field, on the sidelines or in the huddle…I am not even a Broncos fan. But you can’t dispute the results of what he seems to have accomplished this year basically on heart and guts alone.

An even bigger example is Alex Smith. He has been tossed on the scrap heap in San Francisco on a few different occasions. The Niners have played musical coaches and musical offensive coordinator in their coaching hierarchy over Smith’s entire NFL career.

All it took as a new head coach, Jim Harbaugh, to come into the organization with the attitude that “hey this Smith kid is good, he just has not been properly coached. Voila’ The player who has been told by fans and media his entire career that he was a bust as a #1 Draft pick out of Utah has talent, that he is good, and that they can win games with him.

What happened with the San Francisco 49ers? They won their division, beat a favored team in the playoffs last week in one of the most exciting NFL games in recent or distant memory and are now poised to make the Super Bowl for the first time since they have had Hall of Fame quarterbacks at the helm.

The secret – Having the right people in the right place at the right time.

No doubt that Tebow, gave the Broncos a lift just when their organization needed it. The debate is still out if he is a long-term solution, but there is no denying the entire team has played much better since he took over as their quarterback.

San Francisco has shown that the right coach, who personally got to know his personnel and giving them the proper confidence and feedback to help them succeed, now has a team that were total underachiever’s in the eyes of many to on the verge of being NFC champions.

For those reading this article you likely can look to leaders in your place of employment and point to situations where strong leaders have assisted you, or assisted one your co-workers to achieve personal successes. I am certain you can also remember instances where this has not worked out so well.

Just like in the NFL combine where 40 yard dash times and repetitions in the weight room can increase draft stock, window dressing in the workplace is not always enough.

Sometimes….. what all of us need, whether is it in our parenting, our careers or in our sports pursuits is a some good coaching, and a little confidence.

Until next time, stay classy Charlotte, North Carolina.

One Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Evan
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 08:41:23

    There was an article on today reminding me of something not quite the same, but similar. It compared Andy Reid with Tom Coughlin, looking at how Reid doesn’t throw his players under the bus in front of the media (resulting in drab press conferences that infuriate the fans, because he doesn’t give insights into anything), and the players love him for it, while Coughlin pisses his players off by calling them out. The article pondered how valuable the love of your players is, since Couglin has a Super Bowl ring and Reid doesn’t, although Reid generally has his teams in the hunt more often.


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