An Open Post to My Boys
I like that you're confident. I do. It's important to believe in yourself and your abilities. But what I see in your world bothers me a lot. There's a huge difference between confidence and braggadocio. Overconfidence is annoying and can frequently backfire.
There's a reason all the smack talk on any playing field is called "trash talk." Because it's garbage, regardless of whether or not you can back up all the "bragging" (a good way to remember the SAT word, braggadocio, above.) It's just an obnoxious, schmucky way to behave.
If I had my way, I'd want you to be confident in the traditional, wonderful ways of your grandfather: Don't tell them, show them. Poppy wouldn't tell everyone he was fast, he would just win the race. And then, because he was that good, he would always be gracious and congratulate the other runners.
Coming of age in upper Manhattan in the 1950's and 1960's, Poppy had to be tough, yet he was always a consummate gentleman. But here's the beauty of his confidence: Poppy wouldn't tell everyone he would beat them to a pulp if they messed with him, he just carried himself well, so people knew he was no pushover. One of my favorite Poppy lines when confronted was "I'm not looking for a fight, but if you are, you found one." Some would walk away, and those who stayed to fight quickly found that his quiet confidence belied a fierce strength. Fortunately, that ferocious strength extended to his character.
And that, my boys, is confidence to the core.