I was told last night that the players we are working with are very confident.
Confidence is something that you hear about at the rink all the time. “If only she were more confident then she could…..”
The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is backwards. Players aren’t able to perform a task because they are confident. Being confident doesn’t somehow teach them the mechanics of being able to skate well for instance. It’s quite the opposite. They are confident because not only can they do something well, but somebody is giving them positive reinforcement when they do.
The one defining factor that our long-term players share is that they are nearly fearless. They will try anything, full-out, falling down, losing the puck, popping back up and going at it again.
The fear of mistakes is almost gone. They know that the path to excellence isn’t paved with victory signs; it’s paved with resilience. On Tuesday night one of the young ladies in our program struggled immensely with one of our challenges. She worked through it, over and over and on Wednesday night…. she blew through it better than many Midget aged players could. For reference, she’s 10-years-old and she’s fearless.
Resilience and not confidence (in my opinion) is what makes a player great. Be fearless. Try something, over and over and over again until you can’t get it wrong. Work hard. Enjoy the journey and enjoy the success that being resilient provides.
Confidence is a by-product. Let’s focus on giving young athletes the encouragement they need to soldier through when things get tough. The results will amaze you.