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Is Your Self-Confidence Primed for Success?--->, FF Insider#109
April 09, 2012
Welcome Back,

Please enjoy another issue packed with evidence-based information about fitness and sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance. If you find value in this e-newsletter, please forward this message to your teammates, coaches, or other parents of hard working athletes so that they, too, may benefit from the information contained herein.

Finish First Sports Performance is the official training/performance coaching provider for the Youngstown Phantoms USHL Hockey Team, the Robert Morris Univeristy NCAA Division 1 Men's Ice Hockey Team, and the Miss Pennsylvania Scholarship Organization.

Inside this Issue:

To bring you the very best information, this newsletter focuses on awareness of the training principles for young athletes, and how to use them to make sure your coach is on the right track. Enjoy!

1. Performance Article I: Is Your Self-Confidence Primed for Success?

2. Performance Ariticle II: Athlete Nutrition Guidelines (Revisited)

3. Special Announcements

4. Motivational/Inspirational Quote

5. Thank You

The North Face

Performance Article I:

Is Your Self-Confidence Primed for Success?

By Jeremy S. Hoy,MS, CSCS, NASM, NASE, Performance Scientist

Listen to an interview of an elite athlete after a successful competition and you will almost never hear him/her say that they were completely shocked or surprised at their success. It is very unlikely that the athlete will say that victory was never expected. Instead, you will usually hear that the athlete was confident about his/her skills and that he/she was well prepared for the opponent.

So, what does this mean?

This means that the successful athlete had a specific level of self-confidence before the competition. And, research has proven, over and over again, that athletes with optimal levels of self-confidence are more successful.

What is self confidence?

According to the textbook Advances in Sport Psychology (3rd Ed, Horn, p.66), “self confidence is the belief that one has the internal resources, particularly abilities, to achieve success.” Self-confidence consists of physical skills, resilience, and cognitive efficiency. (Horn, p. 82)

Research has shown that different types of confidence relate differently to athletes’ performance. A study done in 2002 with elite swimmers found that physical skills were a strong predictor of success early in the competitive season (after pre-season physical preparation), while resilience and cognitive efficiency were stronger predictors of success later in the competitive season. (Horn, p. 82)

Researchers also found that self-confidence is a crucial component in mental toughness. International-level elite athletes identified self-confidence as the most critical mental skill in defining mental toughness…U.S. Olympic champions, their coaches, and parents,…,identified self-confidence as a key mental skill in successful performance at the elite level. U.S. Olympic coaches indentified self-confidence as an important influence on their athletes’ performance at the Olympic Games, and junior tennis coaches rated self-confidence as an important mental skill for young tennis players. (Horn, p.81)

Another study showed that athletes and coaches believe that self-confidence is significantly related to performance, and it is a key discriminator between successful and less successful athletes. (Horn, p. 81)

Unlike most keys to success in sports, self-confidence is fragile. Too little will result in less success AND too much will result in less success. An athlete needs to have an optimal level for optimal success.

According to Mia Hamm, “the thing about confidence I don’t think people understand, is it’s a day to day issue. It takes constant nurturing. It’s not something you go in and turn on the light switch and say, ‘I’m confident,’ and it stays on until the bulb burns out.” (Horn, p. 66)

So, what does it mean to have optimal self-confidence?

All experts agree that optimal self-confidence is attained through proper sports preparation (I don’t like inserting shameless plugs, but remember, the mission of Finish First Sports Performance is to PREPARE athletes to perform their best when it matters most!).

Preparation is critical to nurturing optimal self-confidence.

Optimally confident athletes are competent and prepared. They have all the necessary physical and mental skills to achieve their realistic goals. They develop competence by being well-conditioned, mastering their sport’s fundamentals, developing and executing effective strategies to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses, and excelling at the mental skills necessary to create and maintain a flow mind-set. Optimally confident athletes play within themselves: They feel successful when they perform at the upper limits of their current capabilities but don’t worry about achieving goals that are unrealistic for them.

Optimally confident athletes are also well prepared. The conditioning that athletes do to improve their flexibility, agility, speed, strength, power, endurance, and cardiovascular ability should improve their capabilities and prepare them to execute skills and strategies successfully in competition. Moreover, the harder they work in practice to develop and automate skills and accomplish performance objectives, the more prepared they should feel for important competitions. Athletes can’t fool themselves. If they haven’t done the preparation, their confidence will fluctuate and often plummet when they can least afford it.

Confidence in the clutch requires that athletes pay the price in the off season, in the weight room, and on the practice field or court, preparing sufficiently to create an optimal level of confidence. (Sport Psychology for Coaches, p. 189-90)

As a reciprocal effect, self-confidence also motivates athletes to work harder. An elite athlete explained “when I feel confident, it just drives me on more and makes me try harder, raises my game and the intensity of my effort and preparation.” (Horn, p. 84)

Take a careful inventory of your self-confidence. Are you optimally confident? Or, are you setting yourself up for less than optimal performance? The expert sport psychologists all agree that through proper preparation, optimal self-confidence can be achieved, resulting in optimal performance in sports.

What are you doing to optimally prepare?

While there are many ways to become more self-confident, the intent of this article is to emphasize the relationship between self-confidence and success in sports. Self-confidence is an element of mental preparation, which can be cultivated through proper physical and technical/tactical preparation (for more on this, check out some of the past newsletter issues).

What are you doing today to improve your self-confidence?

If you would like to see exactly what Finish First Sports Performance does to help improve the self-confidence of each athlete, please EMAIL US or call us at 866-468-2231.

Performance Article II:

Athlete Nutrition Guidelines

By Jeremy S. Hoy,MS, CSCS, NASM, NASE, Performance Scientist

As a performance coach I understand the important role that nutrition plays in fueling, building/repairing, and exercise recovery. I've literally read over 50 books (good and bad) about nutrition for performance and attending clinics and taken classes on the same subject. I would like to share with you some information that I took from one of my better classes on sports nutrition (from graduate school). I want to remind you that I am not a sports nutritionist or dietitian so I am not an expert on this subject, and am only providing general information for your benefit. If you wish to obtain more specific information, a detailed dietary analysis, or a suggested meal plan, then I suggest you contact the Finish First Sports Performance sports nutrition advisor, Heather Mangieri (

All of the information provided by me in this short article is from the text (primarily Table 5.1, page 44) that accompanies the online course by Human Kinetics titled “Advanced Exercise Nutrition,” authored by Marie Dunford, PhD, RD (2007).

In terms of energy (or calories), for strength-trained athletes, it is recommended that the athlete consumes 30-60 calories per kilogram of body weight per day. Exercise type, duration, and intensity are just a few things that affect the number of calories need to provide sufficient energy for optimal performance. (Athletes who do not consume enough calories will not be able to perform optimally). For example, an athlete who practices daily for an hour, plus strength trains 3 days each week for one hour at a higher intensity, would typically fall in the higher end of the range. Let’s say this athlete is 220lbs, or 100kg. At a need of 45 calories per kilogram of body weight per day, this athlete would need to consume approximately 4500 calories to maintain his/her weight and function optimally.

In terms of energy, three nutrients are capable of providing energy for the athlete: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Carbohydrates provide about 4 calories of energy per gram. Proteins also provide about 4 calories of energy per gram, and fats provide about 9 calories of energy per gram. While fats may provide the most energy per gram, the human body prefers and is designed to use carbohydrates as the primary source of energy (fuel) for exercise.

It is recommended that strength trained athletes consume between 5-7 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per day for high intensity, short duration training. As much as 8-10 grams per kilogram of body weight per day may be needed to support prolonged training.

It is recommended that between 1.4 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day be consumed by strength trained athletes for sufficient tissue repair and additional functions.

And, lastly, at least 1.0 gram of fat per kilogram of body weight per day is recommended to be sufficient enough to meet energy needs for strength trained athletes.

Knowing how many calories are needed and how many calories are being consumed from each of the nutrient groups allows the sports nutritionist to provide detailed recommendations for the desired changes and to support optimal performance. If you would like more information about what a sports nutritionist can do for you, please contact Jeremy at 866-468-2231 or email Heather Mangieri at, or visit Finish First Athlete Nutrition Guidelines.


  • Great News!!! The Finish First Sports Performance Harmarville Training Center is NOW OPEN! We have over 2400 square foot of specialized training area with all the equipment you need (and nothing you don't), plus access to 3 turf fields fo advanced speed, agility and quickness training, plus locker rooms and showers, plus 11 acres of outdoor space for FUN! Stop by and check us out and get a workout in the new space. Or tell a friend and get rewarded (Finish First Referral Program). We are hosting adult fitness classes, boot camps, and speed and agility training camps. Contact us for more information.
  • The new Gourmet Cookbooks (2nd edition updated)by Precision Nutrition are now in stock at both of our training locations...pick up yours asap---this is the best cookbook you will EVER own. For more info about the cookbook, check out:The Gourmet Nutriiton Website.

  • We just received a new shipment of our black Finish First Sports Performance logo shirts in all sizes---and we have them in stock at both of our locations. Get yours for $15.00 while supplies last! Stop by, call, or email to get your shirts!
  • We still have a limited quantity of the World Famous FF New Era logo flex fit hats... If you do not have one of these fashionable hats and want one, stop by the gym and pick one up!--WE ONLY HAVE 5 LEFT IN STOCK!
  • The 2012 Finish First Sports Performance Elite Hockey Camp featuring Jay Caufield and Rick Tocchet, is tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 30, through Saturday, August 4, 2012. Please mark your calendar and start preparing for this year's camp. There will be some changes to the format and daily schedule. Keep checking back for more details as they become available.
  • Congrats to FFSP athletes Parker Milner and Pat Wey on another NCAA national championship for the Boston College Ice Hockey Team! Keep up the great work guys!

Motivational Quote

“Action is the foundational key to all success”
-- Pablo Picasso

Thank You for Your Support

Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.

Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at Please visit for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.

Yours In Training,

Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, MS, CSCS, PES, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Finish First Sports Performance

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