Confidence is the most important asset in any young
hockey player’s toolbox. Confidence is often measured by on-ice
success but is more about the individual’s belief in his (or her) own ability.
The player may have all the physical tools needed
to succeed, but come up short on the delivery because of his (or her) own lack
of confidence. The tools are worthless without the confidence to put them to
There are players out there that can’t get past the
battle between the ears long enough to enjoy the game. It’s hard to beat the
opponents and yourself at the same time. Success will be an all but unreachable
reality for a player that does not have the needed confidence to execute.
The confident player is able to stay confident even
when a shift did not go well. The confident players can forget the bad shift
and remain positive, motivated, intense, focused, and emotionally in control. Negativity
and uncertainty does not creep into the picture when the level of competition
The confident player excels when the pressure is
elevated and wants to be on the ice in difficult situations and against
Parents and coaches have to be instrumental in the
installation of that confidence. The preparation, combined with the player’s
skill and confidence delivers success time and time again.
At the same time, overconfidence while facing
weaker competition is also very dangerous. Overconfidence leads to arrogance
and an overemphasis on individual success in a game that demands performing as
Players without much confidence are nervous and
anxious before games. They believe they will perform poorly. The negativity causes
depression, frustration and anger, all of which lower confidence even more and
causes even poorer performances.
The negativity also affects focus. Players with low
confidence can’t help but focus on their weaknesses than on strengths that can
lead to success.
Raising a player’s confidence motivates them to
perform. Players thinking positively, feeling relaxed and energized, experiencing
positive emotions, and focused on performing their best, are going to have a
lot of fun and enjoy success.
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