How to Build Confidence in Your Young Athlete

As a parent, it’s tough to see your kid’s confidence fade on the playing field. But, no matter how hard you may try to boost their confidence when practicing at home, one mistake on the field in front of the team is enough to change your child’s perception of themselves – and their playing skills.

Confidence doesn’t always come easy, but it’s one of the fundamentals that sets professional baseball players apart from the rest. Ability, work ethic and confidence are three skills that are needed to excel in sports, and all can be improved upon with the right approach. When your child feels confident, they’ll relax and perform better.

Here are some tips for building confidence in your young athlete.

Don’t be Afraid to Fail

People often give the example of Michael Jordan to illustrate this point, as he missed more shots than he made in his career. Imagine if he would have given up because of the shots he missed? Your child will fail, and that’s okay. But they can’t let fear of failure stand in their way of becoming a great athlete. Let your kid know that they’ll win some and lose some, but they need to always try.

Focus on Your Personal Best

All players want to win the game when they step onto the playing field, but only one team will win. So, instead of placing so much emphasis on winning, redirect your child’s attention toward trying their best. Sports, like life, are not always fair, and sometimes your child’s team will win because of bad luck or because they are simply not the better team. Your child should be able to look at their contributions to the game instead.

Have a Good Rapport with Teammates

Although it’s important for your child to focus on their personal best, they need to trust their teammates as well. Baseball is a team sport, and no single person can win the game entirely. Being confident means believing in your teammates and wanting to help them get better. If nothing else, having a good foundation is enough to make baseball games and tournaments a lot more fun!

Start Off Simple

If you see that your child is having a hard time with their confidence, start with basic skills and work your way up. This way, your child can see what it’s like to feel good about what they can master, and they’ll learn that even though mistakes will be made, lots of good things will come their way, too.