Building Confidence In Young Athletes: The Confidence Game

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Confidence is key. We certainly believe that you don’t need us to tell you this but confidence can move mountains. A confident person is a joy to look at and is a pleasure to collaborate with as well. When you are a sportsperson, group, or solo, a firm belief in your talent is as important as the hard work you put into molding the craft.

But how does one build confidence? It is certainly not genetic so how is it that some people are confident and others end up lagging behind all because they are not so good in the centre stage? If you are a young athlete who is missing out on competitions only because of confidence then you should give this one a read.

First of all, we will look at its significance. Why is confidence given such importance?

Why Confidence Is Important For Young Athletes?

Well, there are multiple reasons why a young athlete should be confident about themselves and their sport. Confidence can-

Why Confidence Is Important For Young Athletes

  • Enhance your performance- Ultimately it is all about the game and the more one believes in their ability, the better they are known to fare in the competition. It also pushes them to make tough choices that sometimes need you to think on your feet.
  • Makes you resilient- As a sportsperson and as a beginner, you should be ready to face failures. Sometimes you could do everything right yet the results might not be favourable and in cases like those, you need confidence to get up and try again.
  • Helps improve your mental health- Sportspersons undergo immense anxiety and pressure from various facets of their lives. This could negatively affect your performance. A confident person can find growth opportunities in worst of the situations.

We do know it is not something we are born with or neither can we swallow a pill. Then how do we instill confidence in a young athlete who is not feeling it? There are certain ways to do this and continuous adherence can prove to be fruitful.

Also Check: Warm-Up And Cool-Down Routines For Athletes – Take A Look!

How To Build Confidence In Young Athletes?

Firstly, the young athletes should be positively reinforced. Every good move or decision should be rewarded with kind words if not grand gestures. Secondly, young athletes should be not given unrealistic goals.

For instance- A person who has just started playing football cannot be expected to win the World Cup. She/he certainly can but imposing it on them is not ideal. Thirdly, they should be nurtured in an environment that fosters growth.

Miss your turn? Make a penalty? They should know that with practice they can be better. Another way is by teaching them to visualize their move. Simulate it according to all the adverse scenarios and they will be familiar if at all any rises during their performance.

Lastly, they should be subjected to quality coaching. The feedback should not be critical but constructive. They should be reminded that the feedback is limited only to their profession and not their overall being.

A young athlete’s confidence should be far beyond their field. There could be times when they have to face people after a failure and they must keep their calm. So enhancing confidence can be the life skill all of them need. This can help them go a long way in their game as a leader or as a team player. When young player is brought around in a confident environment, they feel secure about themselves and their abilities.

This means they would not indulge in unhealthy conversations with their teammates. Moreover, it can help them find a boundary and find a balance between sports and life. Most young athletes lag in school but it doesn’t have to be like that. If they are confident in their games, the go-getter attitude can work in academics as well.

How Coaches Can Help Young Athletes Soar?

There could be some challenges a coach might face when working on the confidence of a young athlete. As newbies, they would be completely disheartened by a small setback. In situations like those help them understand that this is a process.

Young athletes could also exhibit symptoms of anxiety and peer pressure, especially when playing aggressive sports. In such scenarios, they could be introduced to deep breathing and self-talking strategies. Ultimately they are to know that life is full of challenges and the only way to get ahead of them is to face them head-on.

Young athletes are the stars of tomorrow and for them to be without confidence would be a waste of talent. Therefore, confidence can be built gradually with patience and resilience. Their family and friends should all contribute to their general well-being.

Read More: Growth-Related Injuries In Young Athletes: The Hidden Dangers

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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