One of the most important things for young hockey players to have is not something that happens on the ice. It’s something, instead, that will impact every part of their lives. That “something” is confidence.
When young players are confident, they’ll play better on the ice. Plus, they’ll feel better about themselves overall and will be more likely to have successful, happy lives.
So, how can confidence be built? Fortunately, it can be created and fostered in many ways.
Give Each Player a Chance to Succeed
One easy way to build confidence is to create opportunities for players to succeed.
Coaches, for example, could help players to set reachable goals. Then, when the child reaches them, he’ll feel successful and confident, just like that.
Parents can also help kids set simple goals, like mastering a new skill or showing good sportsmanship. Then, they can reward and praise their child once the goal is met.
When you literally set kids up for success in this way, their confidence will soar! Plus, they’ll learn about the importance of setting and working towards goals.
Let Kids Make Their Own Choices
Most parents and coaches like to be in control. And, most of the time, it’s important that they are.
Some of the time, however, adults should sit back and let kids make their own choices, like whether or not to attend an “optional” practice or what play to make in a game.
While relinquishing control can be hard, it gives kids a chance to make their own moves. Some of these moves may lead to success, which can build instant confidence. Others, however, might be mistakes, but they present perfect learning opportunities and a chance to grow. Plus, when kids make mistakes and are allowed to use them as a chance to better themselves, they’ll learn confidence from that experience as well.
Building confidence can’t be done overnight. But, through methods like these and through regular praise, encouragement, and constructive criticism, it is possible to build confidence in a child that will last a lifetime.