No matter the skill level, confidence can make all the difference on the court or playing field. While a lack of confidence can have a devastating effect, faith and assurance in their ability can take a young athlete's game to the next level. When they feel confident, they play harder and better, but just like physical skills, confidence is something that requires practice.
Use these tips to help your kid become a more confident athlete.
Do Not Fear Failure1 of 5
Confidence boils down to the battle between faith and fear. Fear is a powerful emotion, and a fear of failure will paralyze a player if they allow it to alter the way they play their game or sport. The best professional athletes know they're going to miss shots or make mistakes from time to time, but because they have confidence in their ability, they never give up.
During his career, Michael Jordan missed more shots than he made. Imagine what might have happened if he stopped playing hard because he was having an off day. The only way to avoid missing shots is to stop shooting. Bottom line: Do not be afraid to fail.
Start off Easy2 of 5
A simple way to improve confidence is to start with something easy. A basketball player might begin every practice with easy shots a few feet from the basket. Watching the ball go through the hoop over and over again helps build a rhythm and gain confidence in shooting ability. Even Tiger Woods starts his practice sessions by making 100 three-foot putts.
Focus on Doing Your Best3 of 5
Whenever a team steps onto the court or field, their objective is to win. The desire to win, however, shouldn't cause each athlete to lose sight of the most important goal–doing their best. The best team doesn't always win, but it's the team that plays the best that usually wins.
There's no shame in losing if you do your best. Sometimes the opponent is simply better, and other times, it's just a matter of bad luck. Instead of worrying about wins and losses, young athletes should focus on doing their absolute best. The wins will come if they and their teammates play hard.
Practice, Practice, Practice4 of 5
Above all, the best thing a young athlete can do to improve confidence is practice. Confidence is based on evidence and experience, and this comes from practice. By constantly working on skills, they'll know what they're capable of and have more faith in their ability. In time, they'll be able to relax and perform with confidence in games because they've put in the practice time.