Confidence, as defined by Webster's, reads:
a : a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances <had perfect confidence in her ability to succeed> <met the risk with brash confidence>
b : faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way <have confidence in a leader>.
Belief is defined as:
1: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
2: something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
3: conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence
One might argue that the difference is a matter of semantics and word play, that they both mean the same thing. For me, confidence is that veneer that covers the walk and idea that we can perform a skill or accomplish a task. Being a shiny veneer, it is easily cracked or broken by concentrated stress or pressure. It breaks. Belief, in contrast, is a deep rooted feeling that embraces confidence but includes a bond that doesn't break with stress, but channels and inner fire that is refined and strengthened by stress, heat and pressure. Like winnowing out the impurities in gold or forging steel, it gets better, stronger as you push it and refine it.
Last year, and this past fall, we would play well and were confident in ourselves, but when put under too much pressure, the wheels would come off and we'd break. This spring, we saw that we had moved beyond confidence in our abilities and game plan to a real belief in our ability to win. When under stress, we locked down and worked harder together, moving to retake the momentum of the game and exert our will on the opposition. So far this season it's panned out, giving us a Southern Rugby Conference 7's championship and bid to the DII National College 7s Championship. Now, we just have to believe a little bit more.
For more about our win at the SRC 7s, see... http://www.goffrugbyreport.com/news/citadel-wins-socon-7s-finals