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 work.
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 is elevated.
The confident player excels when the pressure is elevated and wants to be on the ice in difficult situations and against stronger opponents.
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 a team.
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.