“He can’t pass. He’s lucky. He shouldn’t be a starting NFL quarterback. He’s not any good!” These descriptions have been used to explain the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback, Tim Tebow. Despite all the negative criticism surrounding his skills and talents, Tebow continues to deliver on the field and lead his team to victory. Why is this guy winning?
Since taking over as starting quarterback, Tebow has a 7-1 record and has led the Broncos to sole possession of first place in the AFC West. Although his statistics aren’t the most impressive, it’s his mental toughness and self-confidence that allow him to make the right decisions at the right times. Tebow embodies what sport psychologists call a “positive self-fulfilling prophecy”, which means that he expects to be successful, therefore, he often is.
The idea of self-fulfilling prophecy is important to all athletes. If the closer of a baseball team expects to be successful (holds a positive self-fulfilling prophecy; e.g. Mariano Rivera), the probability of him having success increases tremendously. If a baseball player holds expectations of failure (a negative self-fulfilling prophecy), there’s a really good chance that he will end up under-performing.
In case you suffer from a negative self-fulfilling prophecy, there are ways to increase self-confidence, and ultimately, conquer these negative feelings. By using positive imagery, the mind will see the body accomplishing positive athletic tasks. By thinking, acting confidently and having positive self-talk, the mind and body will assume that good things will happen. Finally, by successfully performing, self-confidence will skyrocket.
Tebow stated in an interview after yet another comeback victory, this time against the Chicago Bears, “If you believe, then unbelievable things can sometimes be possible.” He is convinced that he will be successful, regardless of what critics, opponents, or fans say. This positive self-fulfilling prophecy overpowers the abundant negative outcry against Tebow. Therefore, he is able to continually exude self-confidence and stay focused to do whatever it takes to win football games. Whether it’s at the high school, collegiate, or professional level, he believes he has what it takes to be a winner. Any athlete who can truly believe in himself or herself as much as Tebow does, has what it takes to win at any level, despite what anybody says.
Sports Psychology/Mental Training from Mental Apex