Where does confidence come from when life is so inconsistent?
Where Does Confidence Come From
There are two main sources of confidence for kids: preparation and knowing that someone believes in you.
While there is an edge you can get from a certain level of nervousness, because it can keep you on guard and alert, it’s hard to be overly scared if you know that you’ve prepared for the moment as much as possible.
But there’s something else that gives kids a boost in confidence: knowing that someone believes in them.
If your child knows that you have their back, win or lose, and that you believe in them, they’re going to be able to step out on the field (or wherever they go for their sport) with greater confidence.
On the other hand, if they feel like they’re being critiqued and are fearful of making mistakes, they’re actually going to be far more likely to make mistakes.
As Dr. Goldberg, a Sports Performance Consultant and internationally-known expert in peak sports performance, writes, “You need to train yourself to not fear messing up. You need to “normalize” them for yourself. You can make mistakes and still have the performance of your lifetime. You can mess up and still be around to make the game saving or winning play.”
But that’s only possible if you know that your parents and your coaches and your teammates believe in you.
Which is what makes that ride home after the game so powerful.
We’ve shared before that 70% of kids quit sports by Middle School, and many kids report that the reason for this is the ride home after the game or competition. They hate the critique that follows.
As John O’Sullivan shares, as parents, we need to handle that time after the performance with care. We need to know our child and whether they want to talk about their performance or whether they would rather move on and never discuss it.
Forcing a conversation with your child is only going to drive a wedge between the two of you. It may result in your child wanting to leave their sport. Or, as John shares in his Ted Talk, it could impact the dynamics within your entire family.
It could also simply make them feel like they don’t have your support, like you don’t believe in their ability to perform. Which will, in turn, impact their future performance.
Conclusion: The Secret to Self Confidence (There is No Secret)
The not-so-secret to self-confidence is being as prepared as possible and knowing that you have the support of your parents and coaches, win or lose.
These two simple things will make all the difference. It will reduce or eliminate your child’s fear of making mistakes. It will help them enjoy the moment more, which, in turn, will actually improve their performance.
With an increase in self-confidence, your child will be more likely to stick with his or her sport, receive the maximum amount of joy from it, and come home happy, knowing you have his or her back. As parents, what more could we ask for?