Regardless of your child’s age, sports are meant to build a sense of teamwork, friendship, and a healthy lifestyle.  However, if your child isn’t confident in their athletic abilities for whatever reason, it can turn something fun and exciting like sports into something potentially negative.

If you’ve noticed that your child isn’t enjoying their athletic experience there are some things that you can to do improve their confidence.  Confidence plays a huge role in any game – losing confidence not only impacts skill, but your child could lose interest in the game they love.

Keeping your child’s spirits high can not only help them gain confidence, it keeps them doing what they love with their friends and family.  Here are some ways you can help boost your child’s confidence.

Failure is Fine

Encourage your children and talk to them about failure.  Ask them how it makes them feel and what they think about failure.  Most children are afraid to fail and may be visibly upset when they do fail.

Be upfront and honest about failure – failure is completely fine and can actually help you learn and improve your game.  Explaining that they don’t need to fear failure can help them embrace it and use it to their advantage.  Encourage your child to never give up in the face of failure.  If they no longer feel failure, their confidence will increase.

Master the Basics

No matter what you’re doing, you wouldn’t want to start off trying the hardest skill possible – whether that’s at work, in school, or in sports.  Praise your children on what they do well and help them start with mastering the basics.


Help them understand the foundations of the game – if your child is interested in playing table tennis, practice with them!  Teach them how to play the game and set them up with some easy skill tests they can master quickly.  By making rapid progress early, your child is going to feel confident and proud.

Point Out What Matters

No matter what game you’re playing, the goal of the game is to win.  Too often children let the goal of winning get in the way of their confidence – if they don’t win, they feel less confident in their abilities.  It’s important to stress the fact that while winning is important, doing your absolute best is what really matters.

Celebrate what they did well, especially when they’ve lost.  Letting them know how skilled and talented they are when they lose can help them quickly move past that loss and not focus on it.  Focusing on losing can impact how they feel and play in the future.

Let them know that their best can change from day to day, and it is okay that they didn’t win.  If they’re doing their best and having fun while doing it, they’ve already won.

Practice with Them

Every athlete needs to continually practice, and a great way to build their confidence is to practice with them.  Not only will it help with confidence and skill building, but practicing together is a great bonding experience for the whole family.

Practicing will help them develop their skills and realise what they’re great at – the next time they’re on the pitch or taking someone on in billiards, they’ll feel relaxed and confident knowing you spent the time with them practicing and encouraging them.

Confidence plays an important role in athletics.  From young kids to professional athletes, if you’re not confident in your skills and abilities, you won’t be successful.  These tips and tricks can help you encourage your children and build their athletic confidence, instilling a lifelong love of athletics and games.

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