How To Build The Confidence Of Young Athletes
Professional athletes are, understandably, the best in the world at their chosen sport. But in order to reach that level of knowledge and expertise, they needed to practice from a young age. Ability and work ethic are two essential factors in success but there’s another factor that often gets overlooked, despite being such a crucial element of any success story – confidence. Without confidence, no amount of skill will get you to where you want to be. When you feel confident, you feel capable and able to play harder and better. But just as those athletes needed to improve their skills from a young age, they also needed to improve their confidence. This is something you can encourage in your children too, so that they can grow up to be experts in their field – and confident with it, too.
Don’t fear failure
Confidence is a simple battle between faith and fear, and a lack of confidence means you’re afraid to fail. But with failure comes wisdom – we all fail at some point or another, but with that we learn how to improve and get better. Even the very best athletes miss the vital shot or make mistakes on the track that cost them the race. But if you give up just because you’ve messed up one game, you could be missing out on succeeding at so many more. The only way to get better is to keep practicing, so you can’t give up just because of a few off days.
Focus on achieving your best
The goal is to win for every athlete stepping onto the court, track or field. But the desire to win can sometimes overshadow what the main goal should be – doing your best. It’s important to remember that you won’t win every game or achieve your personal best every time you perform, but that shouldn’t stop you giving it your all. Sometimes you will be beaten by someone who simply has a better skillset or who is simply better than you; maybe you just got unlucky that day. But instead of focusing on how many times you won or lost, focus more on giving it your all and doing your best every time. That way, you can take something positive from every game, regardless of the outcome.
Trust your teammates
You don’t need to be the sole carrier of your team; you need to have faith in them that they will do their best, just as you’ll do yours. Instead of focusing on how much you need to do to win the game, have confidence that you work so well as a team. It will help you to make each other better players, and will make it easier to have faith in yourself.
Start off easy
The easiest and most effective way to improve your confidence is to begin with something easy. If you know you can shoot every hoop when you’re just a few feet from the basket, do a few of these as a warm up. If will give your ego a boost to see yourself succeeding time after time, which will give you the confidence to take a few more risks and push yourself that little bit harder during the game. Even professional athletes do it – Tiger Woods begins every practice session by making 100 three-foot putts. You don’t need to put yourself in countless scenarios where you are challenged to the absolute max – that’s what competitions are for. When you’re practicing, it’s ok to start off by making things a little easier for yourself; then you can begin in a good frame of mind and build on your skills.