Build Self-Confidence Through Sports
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Increase Positive Energy
A good performance on the field can literally make you happier. Go out and play! Your brain creates endorphins and other happy brain chemicals that get released giving your mood a lift. Your improved mood will translate into all other parts of your life; improved performance at school and improved relationships with your friends and family. This is an excellent recipe for increasing your self-confidence.
Make It Happen
Playing sports helps create positive self-confidence, but ultimately how your child feels about herself is up to her. Remind your child that nothing of value comes easily, so she shouldn’t be afraid to apply herself and work at it.
“When I first started I wasn't confident in myself, and as I got older I realized that if I didn’t have confidence in myself then I was not being helpful to my team,” Jessica says. “I’m not the best player out there but I know that’s okay. I make sure before I play a game and even at practices that I have that mentality: ‘I know I can.’”
Jessica is proof that you do not have to be on your way to the Olympics to get the most out of playing sports. Find the sport that is the most fun for you, begin at the right competitive level, and you will be on your way.
And for Competitive Athletes…
If your child is already a competitive athlete looking to build self-confidence, here are five keys to success.
1. Winning is fun but it is not the main objective. The main objective is to have fun and improve. Learn from bad games but be sure to let go of the disappointment.
2. Success is related to effort. Remind your children that they have control over how much effort they put into practicing and games. Attending practices and keeping a good relationship with their coaches will help them keep improving.
3. Success and winning are not the same. Winning is about the outcome of a contest. Success is a personal achievement related to improving ability.
4. Failure and losing are not the same. Losing a game is not a reflection of self worth.
5. Encourage your child to be her best ally. When self doubt and negative thoughts take over, performance suffers. Help her visualize success and keep her thoughts focused on making that vision real.
COURTNEY CARROLL, M.A. sport psychology, is an expert in the field of sport psychology and the founder of Growth Through Sport, a company whose mission is to develop and enhance emotional and personal skills through sport. 917-880-9849 or www.growththroughsport.com.