A Lesson on Confidence: Walk Like A Matador

This is posted as part of our Summer Intern Blog Series. Be sure to come back each week as interns from around the country share their summer experiences with us!

By: Kelly Cartner, @kellyfavre4

As much as I would have thought that because the summer is coming to an end it also meant my #sportsbiz experiences would wind down, but luckily this is not the case. In fact, I have managed to increase my workload (because saying yes to new experiences is my cup of tea) for the remainder of the summer and into the fall. Don’t worry, this is good news for me and pumps me up for new learning experiences.

I have mentioned before about how getting out of your comfort zone helps you grow as a person, both personally and professionally, and it isn’t always easy. When we are confronted with a new project we must accomplish, we might not be familiar with it at all or we know that the certain project area is a weakness of ours. Guess what? This is great news! This gives us a chance to apply a lesson I have recently learned in my sports psychology course called, “walking like a matador.” Long story short, our professor stressed to us that when we need to accomplish a task we may know nothing about or are unsure of, remember to just walk like a matador. In bull fights, the matador puts on a confident front for both the crowd and bull to observe, but if he didn’t come off as confident, the audience wouldn’t want to see a scared matador and the bull would have control over him.

It is, without doubt, that the matador is extremely nervous before he goes out to the ring, however, he knows he must act and look confident in order to get the job done. The same can be applied when assigned a brand new task we know nothing about. The same can also be applied in high pressure situations when your staff looks to you for the answer. You may not know the answer at that very moment, but if you’re able to walk like a matador and act confident, your staff will look to you as a leader and you can all work together to find the solution.

I am applying this concept at the moment with a few of the projects I have been asked to do. We were recently given approval to host another USTA tournament on our campus in less than two months and it will be a higher level tourney than the one last month. Because it is a brand new tournament, a logo, website, social media accounts, a marketing plan and countless other items will need to be created in order to promote our event. The tournament committee has assigned these tasks to me and, at first, I was stuck in a glass case of emotion of being scared, excited and confused because this will be a huge responsibility. Running social media accounts is my strength on the list, but creating a brand new logo, website and marketing plan will be a first. I have no previous experience in graphic design and little experience in website and, as always, I am going to attack these assignments with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.

When I was asked to do these things, I remembered my professor’s story on walking like the matador and I told the committee that this would be no problem and how excited I was to get this experience. I have always wanted to learn graphic design and now is my chance! I cannot wait to start a portfolio with everything I will be doing and have done for these tournaments.

No one is expected to know everything, however, that doesn’t mean we can’t be confident leaders. Remember to get out of your comfort zone by saying yes to projects because every day is an interview and you never know who remembers you walking like a matador.