A National Alliance for Youth Sports resource helping coaches, parents and administrators provide the best youth sports experiences for children.
Coaching confident shooters
By Greg Bach
As a youth basketball coach, picture this scenario: Your team has the ball, trailing by a point, and just seconds remain.
How will they respond? Will they embrace the chance to knock down a game-winning shot because you’ve spent lots of practice time encouraging, praising and instilling confidence in all of them?
Or will they dread having the ball in their hands because you failed to fuel their confidence and as a result they have little faith in themselves?
“I think, particularly with young players, that it is incumbent on the head coach to develop confidence in every player on the team,” Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery tells SportingKid Live. “I always tell my guys to trust their talent. I trust you, so you go trust your talent and go make plays.”
McCaffery understands the importance of putting confident players on the floor, as he’s one of only a dozen Division I coaches to take four – count ’em four – different schools to the NCAA tournament.
“I am a big proponent of developing confidence in my guys,” McCaffery says. “I think our guys play with supreme confidence, and that is my goal.”
INSTILLING CONFIDENCE IN EVERYONE
So as you’re working on plays, or going through drills, make sure that your practice sessions feature lots of confidence building.
After all, confident kids perform better; bounce back from disappointments quicker; and feel really good about themselves, which carries over to other aspects of their life, too.
“When he feels that confidence he will eventually play with more confidence himself,” McCaffery says. “If you do that you will make more good plays, you will feel better about yourself and you won’t get down on yourself.”
Sending kids home after practice with positive messages fuels confidence and passion for the sport. See how Tulsa football coach Philip Montgomery makes it happen with his team and adopt his approach to benefit your players, too
Troy Calhoun, the head football coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy, on helping young athletes learn, improve and savor competing
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