Our players confidence can be a fragile thing; strong today, broken tomorrow. One moment their confidence is overflowing to an almost unhealthy level and within seconds it’s gone.
Regardless of where your players current confidence level is, as coaches we need to continuously work towards getting it to a healthy place. You can’t win games without confident players. You can’t lead others unless you own a healthy level of confidence yourself.
So what can we do to help create a healthy confidence in our players? These 3-tips are a mandatory starting point for every coach to begin communicating to their players.
Talk to yourself, don’t listen to yourself
There’s a powerful distinction between talking to yourself and listening to yourself. If you solely listen to yourself, you may not like what you hear as players have a tendency to speak the negative thoughts they think. Instead encourage your players to be intentional and talk to themselves. Control the conversation and speak words of encouragement to yourself.
Laugh With/Not At
Our partners at game on Nation emphasize this concept of “laughing with, not at” one another. Very often the individuals (teammates) who should be building up each other’s confidence are actually the ones bringing them down. The tendency of young people to laugh and make jokes at their teammates expense can be the very thing damaging their confidence. Establish a culture built on laughing “with” each other (because we’re in this together and none of us are perfect) rather than laughing “at” each other.
Master the Boring
Competence builds confidence. When you become good at something, you naturally become more confident. Getting good in something, isn’t always fun it’s a process and the process at times can be boring. Be okay with boring. Master the boring, embrace the reps and honor the process.