What is it?
As the final ‘C’, confidence isn’t a mental skill like the other Cs. It is essentially a state of mind linked to the beliefs that a player has at executing a skill to a desired level, or achieving a specific outcome. Confidence can frequently fluctuate if it is not built on three solid foundations: the development of a positive attitude to a task or situation; the building and banking up of accomplishments; and a sense of positive support from others.
From the Field:
“My coach wanted me to dribble a lot more, but I didn’t want to get tackled and give the ball away. I now feel confident that I can dribble past people and not get tackled.” Under 12 Academy Player
What can I do?
The coach who focuses on building confidence begins by creating a ‘no fear of failure’ environment and by structuring coaching sessions that allow for gradual accomplishments in players. Every little success matters, little successes are viewed as personally meaningful, and every success should be built upon.
Coaches can raise awareness by asking questions about what a confident player looks like? How they act? What might they be thinking or saying to themselves. Can you role play a confident player in the next practice? Practices that allow for the use of goal setting with time for reinforcement upon success, as well as specific praise from the coach and the player’s teammates are likely to engender confidence in a young player.
Take a look at the video below of coach and players talking about confidence.