in my past life as a soccer coach, once you won a national championship, everyone wants to come play for you. really not true. once you paid them$ 25,000 a year in scholarships,
no self esteem, everybody wants to come play for you. and parents would alwayscome to me and they'd say: "okay, my son or my daughterwants to come play at your university, what is it that we have to do?
you know, what are you looking for?" and being the socraticprofessor that i am, i say, well, what doesyour son or daughter do? what do they do really wellthat we'd be interested in? and typically their answers are,well, they've got great vision. they're really good. they can see the entire field. or, my daughter is the fastest player,there's nobody that can beat her. or, my son's got a great left-footer.
really great in the airand can hit every ball. i'm like: "yeah, not bad; but to be quite honest with you, those are the last thingsi'm looking for. the most important thing? self-confidence." without that skill, and i usethe word skill intentionally, without that skill, we areuseless as a soccer player. because when you lose sightor belief in yourself,
we're done for. i use the definition of self-confidence to be the ability or the belief to believe in yourself,to accomplish any task, no matter the odds,no matter the difficulty, no matter the adversity. the belief that you canaccomplished it, self-confidence. some of you are saying,"great, i don't have it. i'm so shy. i'll never do that, bla, bla, bla."
and you start to dragall the way down here. but, i use the word skill because i believe it can be trained. and i'll show you a coupleof ways in which we do. hopefully i won't run out of time. i don't use any slides because my speech always goeshere, or here, or here. so we'll see which way we get to.
the easiest wayto build self-confidence: there's no magic button. i can't say: "hey, this planeis going down, who can fly? put your hand up." "i can, i'm confident!" (laughter) repetition, repetition, repetition. right?
what does malcom gladwell call it,the 10,000-hour rule? there's no magic button. i recruited a goalie from colombia,south america one year. big, tall 6'3" man. you know, he had hands like stone. i thought he was like flipper. everytime i threw him the ball,down, onto the ground. i was like, oh my god,we're in trouble. simple solution: get to the wall,
kick a ball againstthe wall and catch it. kick the ball againstthe wall and catch it. his goal was 350 a dayfor eight months. he came back,his hands were calloused, the moisture on his handswere literally gone, he is now playing in europe. magic? no. the problem is, we expectto be self-confident but we can't be unless the skill,
or the task we're doing, is not novel, is not new to us. we want to be in a situation where we have somuch pressure in that and what i mean, causepressure builds diamonds, we want to be in a situation where "hey, i've done thisa thousand times". i did my speech, and i practiced in front of a mirror:bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla.
hey i'm sounding good. and then i wentin front of my kids, and my wife. i said, oh gosh, i got a little nervous. then i'd get in front of glenn gould, oh my goodness,i am a little more nervous! by the time i get to the acg, where 2,500 people,can't say anymore, right? twenty-five hundred people, where twenty-five hundredpeople are there,
i won't have a singleounce of nervousness because of my ability to practice. over, and over, and over, again. the problem with repetition is: how many of us bailafter the first bit of failure? how many of us bail afterthe first bit of adversity? edison was on that video, and it depends who you ask, there's anywhere from 1,000
to 10,000 triesto build that light bulb. 1,000 to 10,000. j.k rowling should be on that video. do you know how many publishersshe took her harry potter book to? i believe the number was 12 or 13... i am pretty confident butafter two or three noes i'd be like: "damn it!". after six or seven, i'm like: "maybe not!" definitely after nine or ten
i'd be looking to be a soccer coach or something else besides an author. i mean, twelve times somebody said no. but, practice, practice, practice,and do not accept failure. maybe it shouldn't be repetition, maybe the answer should be persistence. because we all repeat something butvery few of us really will persist. so that's one way to build self-confidence. get out there.
do what you want to doand do not accept no. the other one is self-talk. we all have a self-talk tapethat plays in our head. anybody go shopping andput on a pair of pants this week? if you're a woman, the first thing that always comes: "damn i look fat in these pants!." and if you're a man,it's the opposite: "oh god, i got no muscle,i'm so flabby!"
right? we all have this tapethat plays in our head. as a student,if they asked me the question, it was like: "oh, gee please professordon't pick me, i don't know the answer." i'd look down. if you're in the b...when i,let me tell you something, and the vp of business adminis.here, i shouldn't repeat this, but when they hired meas an athletics director, i sat in an architect's meeting, and i am as dumb as a post
when it comes to anything to dowith numbers and angles. and they are like: the fundibulator valve of the architectural, uh, what do you think doctor joseph? uh, let me look into that for youand get back to you. i was in a, oh god god, please don'task me, please don't ask me. we all have this negativeself-talk that goes in our head. guess what?
there's enough people that are telling us we can't do it. that we're not good enough. why do we want to tell ourselves that? we know for a fact thatthoughts influence actions. we saw it there with the videosheldon, dr. levy showed. we know that ourthoughts influence actions, why do we want to say thatnegative self-talk to ourselves? we need to get our own self-affirmations. muhammad ali, what washis self-affirmation?
i am the greatest! who else is going to tell you? there need to be quietmoments in your bedroom, quiet moments whenyou're brushing your teeth. that we need to reaffirm: "i am the captain of my shipand the master of my fate!" that is my affirmation. i came from a schoolof one thousand people, i lived in a town of one thousandpeople for fifteen years;
there's no reason that i should bein charge of an athletics department, building maple leaf gardens. but i am the captain of my shipand the master of my fate. if i don't say it, if i don't believe it, no one else will. how do you build self-confidence? get away from the peoplewho will tear you down. there's enough of that. muhammad ali, i am the greatest!there is no one better than me.
there's a difference betweenhubris, and ego, and false pride. it's just reminding yourselfin quiet silent moments, i put it down on a list, it's right beside my mirror, right? about all the things thatmake me who i am. because i make enough mistakes, and the newspapers will recognize it, and people around mewill recognize it;
and they'll tear me down, and pretty soon i'll begin to believe it. there was a time whenmy confidence was really low. there was a time when i took this job when i came from iowa, i don't know if i could do it. i had to bring outmy self-confidence letter. a letter i wrote to myselfwhen i was feeling good. ivan, congratulations ongetting your phd before 40.
congra...i am 40, under. congratulations on winninga national championship. good job on raising three good kidsand marrying the right woman. i wrote a letter to myself, it was my own brag sheet. my own letter aboutthe things i was proud of. because there are moments, and we'll all experience themin our career, in our lives, in our job hunting, in our relationships;
when we are not feeling good about who, and what, and where we are. and i had to bring out that letterand read it time and time again, for a period of about two weeks,to weather me through that storm. it was important. stop the self-talk,the negative self-talk. if you watch you'll see some athletesthat have a little bandage, or a little brand around them. lance armstrong is a perfect one.
what's his self-affirmation? livestrong isn't a brand,it was to remind him of who he was. live strong.then it became a brand. he would move that fromone arm to the next arm, when doubt and fearcame into his mind. live strong, put it on there, let's go. we'll all have it, we place it. two ways to build self-confidence. i'm worried about my time
i'm gonna tell you of one way you can buildself-confidence in others. we are coaches and educators, we are teachers, we are people who will create value in the world; and in doing that, we are criticalby the nature of what we do. i am a coach, i want you to score a goal. the ball went over high."dang it!" the ball went high! "thank you coach, i know that.feedback tells me that."
so what do we do? i need you to put your elbow here, i need you to putyour knee over the ball, i need you to follow through. boom. land. great. notice, i never made itas a professional. what can we do? we fix mistakes. when i'm fixing that mistake:
"johnny, this is terrible, you need to bend your knee,you need to do this, this." what have i done to johnny'sself-confidence? bend your knee,then do this, then do this. next thing you know, johnny's crushed. ignore what johnny does wrong and find bob or sally or freda over here. great goal freda, i love howyou kept your knee low, you followed through,and you landed like this.
great job! johnny: "oh?" great! johnny's not demoralized. his confidence isn't shot, and what i've done is,i've built up freda's. imagine how we could changethe way we parented kids. instead of: "get that glass off the counter,what's wrong with you?" if we catch the mother, good.
great job! great job. thank you alice for takingyour glass to the counter. it sounds simple butwe forget about it. or as educators,or as somebody as a team, if we manage to praise the positive behaviour thatwe wanted to reinforce. we forget it.it sounds so simple. catch them when they're good. we forget it. it's simple.
here's what they did. there was a studyin kansas that did this. they did video, and we all do video. and we show the video of themdoing the run of the play: "um, this goal happened becausethe basket wasn't protected, we didn't rotate here, right? we needed to do thisand then cover the slot." and, if that's the baseline, improvement of the kansasstate team went like this.
then, they said they ignored all of that and they just showed themthe times they did it right. the times they did it perfect. that presented no goals,spoke to the same points, improvement went like that. it changed and revolutionizedthe way we as coaches interact with our student athletes. we can apply that to the business world, we can apply thatto our student group works,
we can apply thatto our management teams. easily: catch them when they are good. last and certainly not least. my son is really good at this. self-confident people interpret feedback the way they choose to. i ask my son who isby the far a terrible, terrible athlete, gets it from his dad. the game's...
how's the game? oh great! i scored three goals,i got two assists. i'm like: "i did not see him touch the puck!" but he has his own perception of how he did! i love it! right? i'm the...i'm that guy! i'm like: "i remember when i was taking when i met my wife, it was in the commons.
"paulie, would you like to go to the movies? ladies? tingly, tingly, tingle." and she goes: "ah, no." i asked her again. cause i think that she justhasn't seen me in the right light. maybe, that's not the wrong shirt on. cause i'm interpreting thatthe way i want to interpret it. finally i asked her out again. she gave me this one comment, right?or, she sent it to her friend.
cause that's the way you did it back then. "she wouldn't date you unless there was the last person on earth, hell was freezing over, there was a small chancewe had to save the planet earth. some people, it's like, there's no chance. i'm like: "you're sayingthere's a chance." because that's how i'm gonna interpret it. if i could give youone thing to take from this,
it is: no one will believe in you unless you do. listen to the words of that video, here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. we're supposed to be different, folks. and when people look at us,
believe in yourself. thank you. (applause)