Individuals who are successful in any walk of life have many traits that stand out, and without question one of the main ones is Self-Confidence.

What is self-confidence:

Self-confidence is an attitude about your skills and abilities.  It means you accept and trust yourself and have a sense of control in your life.  You know your strengths and weakness well and have a positive view of yourself.

 What are the characteristics of a confident person:

  • Does what they believe is right, even if it’s unpopular
  • Is willing to take risks
  • Admits their mistakes and learns from them
  • Is able to accept a compliment
  • Is optimistic

 Tips for building self-confidence in your Footballer son/daughter

There are a number of things you can do to help your son/daughter build self-confidence generally and as a footballer. Some of them are just small changes to their frame of mind, others they’ll have to work on for a bit longer to make them familiar habits. 

 Tips to develop the self-confidence of your son/daughter: 

  • Praising effort over outcome
  • Providing positive feedback
  • Encouraging taking risks
  • Setting achievable goals
  • Creating a supportive environment
  • Praising effort over outcome

Celebrate your son’s/daughter’s hard work and dedication in training and games, rather than just the outcome of the match. 

  • Providing positive feedback

Give your son/daughter constructive feedback that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely (SMART). Focusing on what they did well in a game or at training and what they can improve on can help build their confidence and show them that they are making progress.

  • Encouraging taking risks

Encourage your child to try new things and take risks on the pitch. Remind them that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process and encourage them to learn from their experiences. This can help them 2build their confidence and willingness to try new things.

  • Providing positive feedback

Help your son/daughter set achievable goals for themselves, such as improving a specific skill or maintaining focus during a game. Revisit these goals regularly to track their progress. Knowing that you’re dedicated to their success, will help encourage them to feel that sense of accomplishment that grows their confidence.

  • Creating a supportive environment

You want to create the type of environment where your son/daughter feels comfortable asking questions, making mistakes and trying new things. Why? Because encouraging them to share their football experiences, (the good and the bad), helps them understand that failing isn’t the worst thing in the world. When they share their experiences it’s an opportunity to give positive and encouraging feedback to keep them motivated and engaged.

Using the past, the present and the future can also build a footballer’s self-confidence:

Using the past: Encourage your son/daughter to use the past to remind themselves of previous success and of the preparation they have put in.

 The present: Using the present, encourage your son/daughter to talk to themselves in a positive, helpful and energised way. The research suggests footballers should use phrases that are positive and approach-focused (e.g., “I want to win”) rather than negative and avoidance-focused. 

The futureUsing the future allows your son/daughter to use visualisation to picture themselves being a successful footballer. Recreating images of successful performances in one’s mind has been reported as a source of confidence prior to exceptional performances.. 

More Tips to build your son’s/daughter’s self-confidence as a footballer.

Encourage your son/daughter to:

  • Not compare themself to others – the race is long, and ultimately only with themself.
  • Not worry about what other people think about them so much – we can’t control what other people say think or do.
  • Not lose fear of failure – the idea that we shouldn’t make mistakes is unhelpful. In reality, this is a natural part of the learning process.

Recommended Video: Ted Talk: 13.20 minutes: The skill of self-confidence. Dr. Ivan Joseph.

Final Tip:

Remember to remind your son/daughter that self-confidence is always a work in progress and that they can expect to experience boosts and set-backs throughout their football journey and in life in general in the future but that they should never stop believing in themselves.

Become Confident on the Soccer Field ...

Contact me via or 0438184994 should you wish to chat or arrange to meet at the club wellness centre on a training night.

Best wishes


Dr. Jeff Kemp OAM