No matter where you fall in the world of youth hockey- whether you’re a parent, a coach, or anything in between- it is important to recognize that one of your most important duties is to help build confidence in the young athletes in your life. You should want and strive to make them believe in and ultimately reach their full potentials.
One way that you can help the youth athletes in your life to become more confident is by encouraging them to work in the gym regularly. Believe it or not, studies commonly show that those who exercise and gain in physical strength also gain in confidence. As they push themselves in the gym and see what all they’re capable of, this will transcend to believing they are capable of great things on the ice as well.
Gym work encourages children to start doing things that are difficult- things that may even seem impossible at first. With time and dedication, though, those things that were once hard become easy. From there, children begin to learn the lesson that, with hard work, they can do and achieve absolutely anything. They will carry this lesson with them onto the ice and beyond.
In addition to encouraging your young athlete to work out at the gym, you can also help boost and further confidence through positive reinforcement, encouraging words, and unending support. When you regularly reiterate to players that they are strong and capable, and when their own gym work reinforces those words, there is no limit to the confidence that these players can develop…or to the ways that this confidence can benefit them.
And, if you’re ever feeling unsure about whether or not your actions or words are promoting confidence, consider these simple but highly effective tips for being a confidence-builder in your young player’s life:
· Always, always support and encourage, even when a player makes a mistake
· Make sure you are a trustworthy person, so that your support and encouragement actually has value
· Be someone your player can talk to about anything
· Always make it clear how much you believe in your young athlete
· Be a good role model- someone your player can look up to