Many young athletes often struggle with their confidence. And, when athletes aren’t confident, it’s very difficult for them to have success in their sport.
Fortunately, as a parent, coach, or other important figure in a young athlete’s life, there is much that you can do to improve the player’s confidence, which will make him a stronger player and better equipped to handle life itself.
Make it Clear that Mistakes are Okay
Every athlete makes mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes can even affect the outcome of a game, which can be devastating to a young player who lacks in confidence. These players are also more likely to beat themselves up over mistakes, which further compounds the problem and makes confidence even worse.
For this reason, it’s important to teach the young athlete in your life that making mistakes is okay and just a part of being an athlete. Let the player know that he should always try his best and work his hardest, but that, if he does that, and makes a mistake, it’s okay and acceptable. Giving an athlete the freedom to make mistakes will improve a player’s confidence and self-worth greatly.
Stress Enjoyment of the Experience
Youth athletes often get very caught up in the outcome of the sport they play. Their focus gets set on winning, which can lead to the athlete only feeling like he has value when the team wins.
This is not an attitude you want to encourage since it will negatively affect a player’s confidence and quickly suck all the joy out of the sport.
Instead of focusing on winning, teach your athlete to focus on enjoying the experience of playing and from learning something from it each time he plays or practices. This will make the sport more fun and will build self-confidence and value that isn’t based on external factors, like winning.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to improve confidence in young athletes. These are just a few of many. But, by following these tips and making it your goal to be as supportive and encouraging as possible, you can see a positive improvement in confidence levels.