Momentum changes affect confidence first. A team or an athlete no longer feels in complete control. If this occurs they may start to think too much and get out of what is considered the zone or flow. This affects their play and performance drops perhaps a little. This then may precipitate an increase in level of confidence in the team that now has the momentum. The drop in level of play may also increase the level of anxiety in players further limiting what they can do and helping propel them into a downward cycle. This all varies of course dependent on other learned behaviors. One of the most important of which is the athlete’s self talk. If an individual or team have the mindset that is something like “Oh no, here we go again”, these thoughts will undoubtedly lead to a self fulfilling prophesy of decrease effectiveness. This is certainly where a coach can have a great influence in changing this negative behavior. Very often, especially with good teams we see momentum shift back. Often athletes on these teams see the shift in momentum as a new challenge to their complacency. Sometimes they believe that the energy it took to shift momentum has now exhausted their opponent and is now the perfect time to step on the gas. How often we see temporary shifts in momentum only to see the other team come back and crush the other side. The biggest variable is what does the team think and believe when it comes to the big shift. “Defeat or Opportunity”. These are just a couple of ideas on a very complicated subject.