Developing confidence in young players

Please think of the times you’ve been a coach for a player who you thought they were not high in confidence. What were you observing? What did you notice? What did you, as the coach, consider? What do you believe a confident player should look like?

Is confidence a word?

A player’s confidence is their conviction that they can execute the skill they have learned or achieve the desired outcome in a game or training for themselves or their team. It can influence the speed of progress in their tactical and technical growth, their satisfaction in sports, and their chance of getting kicked out of the sport.

A confident athlete has more than the skills in tactical and technical aspects needed to be a successful athlete. They are also able to utilize their skills and make decisions without worrying about what might happen. Many variables influence the confidence of a player: the way they present teammates, themselves, as well as the opposition’s current injuries, the result of an event and the length of time or frequent injuries, and the nature of the objectives that are established.

How can I tell when a person is confident?

Players who are confident display several behaviours

  • They are desiring (calling to or making a signal) for the ball regardless of whether players are being pressured by the opposition or during an extremely difficult time in the game.
  • They are working hard in order to maintain their personal and their team’s spirits high regardless of game conditions (e.g. positive communication with teammates and coaches and having a spring in their step to play the entire game).
  • Try new things and take moderate risks in various situations without worrying about making mistakes or becoming defeated if something goes wrong.

As a coach, you’re playing an important job in helping players how to behave in these ways. Don’t forget that confidence can be learned, coached and taught, as well as developed. So, knowing how to build confidence can ultimately assist coaches in empowering their players to have more control over their sports and increase their enjoyment.

How can I increase the confidence of players?

The most reliable sources of confidence in sports are the results of sports. This is an important aspect for coaches as athletes, especially those who are younger or new to sports, are often unable to be self-congratulatory.

Thus, by highlighting recent sports-related achievements, regardless of how small, coaches will boost confidence in a player. It is especially crucial to keep in mind if the team or player has been experiencing any dips in their performance, as it could be that there are just tiny achievements that could be recognized.

The most important part is helping the participant recognize that their effort into this feat was an essential aspect of the process. This can help players gain a sense of control over their accomplishments, which will boost their chances of being motivated and confident to continue improving.

Create confidence and trust in coaching every day

As an instructor, you could integrate these strategies into your training sessions and apply them in your normal coaching routine to increase confidence among players. By doing this, the players will feel more at ease taking charge of their growth and also take more pleasure in their sports.

Therefore, the odds of a player attempting to make a game-changing move, taking on their opponent instead of taking a safe approach and attempting a difficult shot or taking on the responsibility for shooting when they have the chance rise.