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One day while playing basketball in the park with all guys, I was struggling to get my shot off w/out them blocking it or the mere fact because of their defense I had to pass the ball every time to my teammates. As the different games went along, the more I couldn’t get my shot off in which I started losing confidence on whether I could play against guys or not. But I always had my cousin there playing with me to show me what I needed to do in order to shoot over the guys and more IMPORTANTLY he kept encouraging me which built my confidence.

Everything takes time especially for children as they begin their journey in their particular sport. Especially if they are playing their particular sport for the first time. What my cousin did every time we played was:

#1 showed me patience, and #2 he NEVER expected no more from me but what I could do. He NEVER expected too much from me too soon. I (kids) gain confidence by practicing different techniques correctly every day. He taught me how to use the shot fake, jab, ball fake, etc…which are different techniques to create an opportunity to get my shot off. The question I frequently get asked is how did I keep my confidence or gain confidence to keep playing, when in other words so to the speak I was just on the court. Meaning, was I contributing to my team especially when they passed me the ball and I couldn’t shoot over the defenders!!

they passed me the ball and I couldn’t shoot over the defenders!! I had to experience failure in order for my confidence to grow. I learned from failure meaning it made me aware of what I needed to work on to become better at what I wanted to do. I never interfered with the natural progression of character or skill development by quitting or having a bad attitude. Parents , please explain to your child that the way to gain confidence is by digging deep within themselves, reassuring them that they can do it, and to work on the things they are having trouble with daily!! Make them accountable for their progress and success in what they are doing. As you hold them accountable this will teach them to respect what sport it is they are playing and help them understand their goal of being on the bench or on the court helping their team. One of the biggest problems we are having in sports is wanting to play without working on your game…AKA entitlement. Parents constantly creating opportunities for their kids without requiring proper effort is NOT a sustainable path. It will eventually lead to a false sense of confidence.

FINALLY: Parents please teach them this lesson: If they really want to play basketball or whatever sport, they have to learn the position they are playing whether it’s being a guard, wing, or post! Practice on the skills necessary for that position!! Once I develop my shot fake and jab along with the many other things, my confidence soared to where I felt like I could play against anyone. My parents created opportunities for me to learn basic skill training and techniques that allowed my confidence to grow. Confidence takes time to grow. Some kids are born with confidence and some are not, so be patient, see from the child’s perspective, help them understand your perspective, and help them toward self-improvement!!!


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