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Self-Confidence | Highlights from interviews with top athletes & speakers

Highlights from past All In podcast episodes on self-confidence, from the following athletes & experts:

JJ Birden, Former NFL player & Motivational Speaker (EP 35)

Charles Clarke, Former Team USA sprinter & Motivational Speaker (EP 45)

Liz Gleadle, Track & Field Olympian, Team Canada Javelin (EP 33)

Carolyne Prevost, Pro Hockey Player, CrossFit Games Athlete (EP 39)

Tune into ALL IN with Natalie Allport on your favourite podcast / audio platform for the full episode.

Transcripts (may have errors)

JJ Birden:

You’re kind of small, maybe you should do that. And it was always like, I’m going to show you how small I am. And I would work to prove everyone wrong. And it wasn’t like to become a professional athlete. It just it just kept happening as I kept working hard and kept getting better proving people wrong. That doorway opened up. But But yeah, back in high school was when I had that first moment where I like, Okay, I’m going to show them because I was a track and field athlete. I was the number one wide receiver in the state of Oregon. I had a really good year. But when the college coaches came around to recruit football players, the D one schools just they just wrote me off. They’re like, nope, no way, no way. And I experienced enough of that, that I just I formed a plan. I thought you know what? I know I’m a D one track athlete. Because I was one of the top long jumpers in the state. I’m going to figure out how I can get on a college football team and whatever track team recruits me, I want to ask them what do you think about the trend football and now the every division one school that recruited me attracts said no, except for Oregon, Oregon, they said, you know, if you come run for the ducks, we’ll we’ll give you our blessing. And you can walk on the second year if the head coach will allow you to do it. And that’s how I needed to hear and so that second year, I I started watching the Oregon football practices during the spring, I was kind of sizing up the guys and seeing how big they were if they were that much bigger than me. And then I realized that they weren’t and I could do this. And so the next day I stood on the field, because I was waiting for the coach to kick me off. And he’s gonna know why I’m here. And sure enough, the head coach rich Brooks, he came down there, he saw me he’s like burden. You’re the track kid. What are you doing out here? And I was like, coach, I want to own play. And he’s looking at me now. I’m like, 591 50. And he’s like, I don’t know. Anyway, needless to say, I talked him into it. He said you can walk on this fall. And so I walked them for the ducks. And and I’ll tell you what, here’s a teaching point for everybody. Because that day one, there was 14 wide receivers on the depth chart. And I was number 13. So most people, when you see something like that a situation, you might start thinking, well, this is a waste of my time. They don’t even believe me. They’re not going to give me a shot, I suppose quit? Well, my mindset was like how fast can I move up the depth chart. I saw it as a challenge. And two weeks later, I was backing up to seniors and I was second string so so what I learned in that moment was that sometimes in life you have to create opportunities where appears not exist. I wasn’t recruited in football at all, but I created the opportunity I made it happen and had no idea I go and play nine years in the NFL. But when you think about that story, I created that and Oregon never recruited me so sometimes just got to do what you got to do. Once you when you get your moment you got to blast that door down.

Charles Clarke:

I think having a y gives you confidence when you go in the world to have confidence to be authentic, to be vulnerable to to go after what you’re going for, because your why is strong enough. So that’s why I think this clip is really relevant for this topic, yo, like, How can she see something that like that inside of me, somebody who’s who’s going through pain right now I’m, I’m thinking, in order for me to be respected and appreciated, I have to have success, I got to have the gold medal. So that I can write so many athletes believe, like, if I’m if I’m ever going to make something on myself, I have to be extraordinarily successful, I have to attain something. But your y is different than that. And when she told me that, she made me realize like, it’s bigger than you, Charles, at the edge of a high school auditorium stage, she realized that if I can put other people first and make myself second, this is greater than any gold medal. They know, I know, some athletes might be watching this right now. And you still might be in the sport. I’m saying to you, yeah, you can still win. You know, it’s nothing wrong with wanting to win. But put your why in front of that reason why you want to win. And when you do that, when you lose, you know, when you’re not having a good season, or you have an injury, and you got to do the rehab all over again. That was gonna keep you, you know, that that was going to sustain you and, and you’ll come out of it stronger, because we’re not going to be athletes forever. We’re going to transition Yeah. And what are you going to put in the forefront, then, if you guys, if you haven’t ever written down your why or spent time doing that kind of stuff, I highly recommend it, I try to check back in because some of those things can change slightly, I like to reevaluate making sure that all my actions and things are aligned with that y that I have.

Liz Gleadle:

I’ve done all the work, I focused myself, I’ve made the changes, I’ve said I was going to make like, you’re not going to show up with a bunch of dope because you’re going to believe in the training that you’ve done. So one of the biggest game changers for me apart from like injury prevention, especially like you’re hitting an 80 foot jump and you crash, having some muscle mass there is pretty helpful. And being able to absorb landings, all that stuff is that having that training and knowing you put in all that work actually makes you so much more competent when you get to the event. Yeah, and the thing is, too is once you do those things, and you feel really comfortable in the situations because like you’re good about your training, you’re good about your muscle mass feel good about your odds, because you know, what you’re doing is other people aren’t doing it, right? You actually cease to think about it entirely. It’s no longer like doubtful thought, No, I’m okay. It’s like you just don’t have these thoughts anymore. Which like, if you’re healthy, Nothing hurts. You’re not going to think about what if my body gets injured? It does nothing. Because you’ve been doing all your rehab, because you’ve been looking after yourself. I like that. Yeah. And it’s tiring on a game day, you have to think about all those thoughts. You’re already thinking of like, everything you need to do, right? Like imagine trying to fight everything you needed, right? And everything you did wrong. Just never no win situation. And not like I think preparing yourself, for me is partially like, you’ve already made a tangency plans, you should be on the day of thinking of like, Okay, what could go wrong? It should be like, what would this look like? If it was a great day? Right? And what would I be doing to lead up to all these like, great things? Yeah. And like, you can see it before and you can see yourself at the event doing well, oh, I messed up that one little thing, but I brush it off. Because like, I know, I’ve got like another throw to throw in like, I’ve got more chances. And I think when people kind of see it going well ahead of time. It’s super useful. So like visualizing the day of your competition, or even your practice and seeing it go well, even if it doesn’t go well. Then you’ve lived at once in your head. And if you’ve ever gone technique once or people are gone, you know, like filming another time. It’s another reference another step closer to your goal. And that’s another reason to be confident.

JJ Birden:

He’s the first person that said JJ in the NFL in the same sentence. I said uncle You’re crazy. No, you’re gonna play in the NFL. No, I’m not. Yes, you like this. I believe in you so much. I want you to promise for your first NFL test and I was like, whatever you can have it so. So he’s at that game, I come out of the locker room with the game bawling my text out and I give it to him. And I said, Oh, how did you know? And he said, you know, nephew, I need to have the ability said, but I had the poor belief into you until you got your belief to where it needed to be. And that was a really important teaching point for me. And I’ve taught other people that too, because sometimes you don’t believe in yourself, you don’t think you can get around the right people can pour that belief into you, because you’ll get your belief where it needs to be at some point.

Liz Gleadle:

You actually cease to think about it entirely. Like that was a big game changer for me when I was competing in snowboarding and something that I tried to develop a lot of young action sport athletes specifically because most of them are just like, it’s not part of the culture to be. It’s like cool to train. So a lot of them, they don’t want to go to the gym, they don’t want to work out. And so one of the biggest game changers for me apart from like injury prevention, especially like you’re hitting an 80 foot jump and you crash, having some muscle mass there is pretty helpful. And being able to absorb landings, all that stuff is that having that training and knowing you put in all that work actually makes you so much more competent when you get to the event. Yeah, the thing is, too is once you do those things, and you feel really comfortable in the situations because like you’re good about your training, you’re good about your muscle mass feel good about your odds, because you know what you’re doing if other people aren’t doing it, right, you actually cease to think about it entirely. It’s no longer like doubtful thought, no one, okay, it’s like you just don’t have these thoughts anymore.

Carolyne Prevost:

When I compare my body and compare it to the girls I compete against. I remember going to regionals, and everything I see all these like fit girls and aesthetically are just like, chiseled and I’m just like, yeah, holy crap, like, how did I make it here? I look at my body. And I don’t look like a games athlete. Like I like me, I don’t see myself looking like a games athlete. Like I don’t have the grip six pack. And I actually want to do a post about that the other day, that’s important for people to to share that also. Because I think that everyone thinks that all these games out these are these high level athletes have no body image issues. And that’s not the case, I think everyone has some extent, because at the end of the day, aesthetics is not performance. Yeah. And that’s what I’ve realized is like, it doesn’t matter. Now when I go to cops, and I look at them, and they’re bigger, bigger than me are more risks. Because if I know that my preparation was spot on, and I can compete very well, like I know I can beat them, it doesn’t matter what they look like, I just feel like when you when you put in a lot of effort towards something. And you see the performance side of it, like, you know how hard you’re working. And regardless of what you look like you’re just proud of your performance you’re proud of, of everything that you know, it’s hard to put on muscle, it’s hard to look a certain way girls can have muscles and they can look good. You know, yeah, more that girls are proud of that. And the more that people can see that see muscular girls, you become self conscious to because I would go to the grocery store and a tank top before. And I’d be like, like, I know that people would be like looking at my muscles. It’s because they don’t they’re not used to it.

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