For some youth football athletes, confidence and assertiveness is a natural part of their personalities, while others a good coach will bring it out of them. At this point in the football season, you are able to easily distinguish between two types of players- your aggressive athletes vs. kids that rather not get hit due to lack of confidence. Being scared on the field leads to injuries and that is the last thing you want. For kids that are timid, what do you do? Here are tips and reminders for on-field confidence building.
*Overall coaching philosophy and teaching of technique is an important aspect in building confidence in football players. When a well-coached athlete understands what he needs to do on the field, there is less second guessing or hesitation. As a benefit, confidence begets aggression (Read our article on Developing aggression in youth football). Ensure your kids have a great understanding of what their role is on the football field and they will display confidence. Coaches that teach game correctly will benefit with more wins, less injuries and will have a group of kids thoroughly enjoying the game.
Fundamental matters, Here’s video how to tackle properly-
*Development of solid work ethic builds confidence. When an athlete can look at the opponent across from him and say, he did not outwork me this past week, this will be provide him the ultimate confidence booster.
*Ensure peak physical fitness. When your kids are in peak football shape, having fear on the football field will subside. Help build a lasting foundation of physical fitness beginning with calisthenics (pull-ups, pushups, sit-ups and air squats). Pushing one’s self a little more during these fitness sessions, that incremental difference, is what will provide that necessary confidence boost.
*Instruct drills smartly. Coaches should watch match-ups in hitting drills during practice, a dominant mismatch will destroy a kid’s confidence and risk injury. Kids afraid to hit or get hit? It does not mean you have to increase frequency of your hitting drills. Do drills smarter.
*Encourage a positive practice environment. How upbeat are your practices? Are your coaches pointing out the positives rather than always harping on the negatives? Encourage your minimum play players and reward them with extra playing time (this will boost their confidence!). Always keep an eye out for bullying amongst teammates as that is not to be tolerated.
*Instill a No Fear attitude. When your coaching, player work ethic and athlete physical fitness is considered optimal, remind your kids often that they are a force to be reckoned with. Collectively, they have put in the work, therefore there is no fear to be felt against any opponent.
*Have your timid kids act with a sense of purpose. Offer this off-the-field drill to a parent for their timid kid- have the athlete act with purpose away from the football field for 24 hours. So, all actions with purpose and intent.
*Incorporate team building. Strengthen ‘family first’ philosophy with team building conditioning, and organize events with parents and kids. A timid player has to feel comfortable around his team so he can just play and not feel judged. A kid should know he is part of a brotherhood, not just out on an island all alone.
As with all aspects of life, the better prepared you are the more confident you will be. Have a great confidence builder- post it in the comments area. Good luck!
Team Building conditioning-