Professional athletes are the best in the world at their sport. In order to reach the elite level, they have to have talent, dedication and the desire to constantly work hard to improve their game. While ability and work ethic are essential skills, there’s another important characteristic that sets professionals apart from other athletes: confidence.

No matter your skill level, confidence is something that can be improved and can make all the difference on the court or playing field. While a lack of confidence can have a devastating effect on your performance, faith and assurance in your ability can take your game to the next level.

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When you feel confident, you’re more aggressive, and you play harder and better. Just like physical skills, confidence is something that requires practice.

Use these five tips to help your kid become a more confident athlete.

1. Do Not Fear Failure

Confidence boils down to the battle between faith and fear. A lack of confidence means you’re afraid to fail. A fear of failure will paralyze you if you allow your fear to alter the way you play your game or sport. Fear is a powerful emotion; don’t let it get the best of you.

The best professional athletes know they’re going to miss shots or make mistakes from time to time, but because they have confidence in their ability, they never give up. During his career, Michael Jordan missed more shots than he made, imagine what might have happened if he stopped playing hard because he was having an off-shooting day. The only way to avoid missing shots is to stop shooting.

Do not be afraid to fail.

2. Focus on Doing Your Best

Whenever a team steps on the court or field, their objective is to win. The desire to win, however, shouldn’t cause you to lose sight of your most important goal–doing your best. The best team doesn’t always win, it’s the team that plays the best that usually wins.

There’s no shame in losing if you do your best. Sometimes your opponent is simply better than you. Other times, it’s just a matter of bad luck. Instead of worrying about wins and losses, focus on doing your absolute best.

The wins will come if you and your teammates play hard. Focus on doing your best rather than being the best.

3. Focus on Doing Your Best

Whenever a team steps on the court or field, their objective is to win. The desire to win, however, shouldn’t cause you to lose sight of your most important goal–doing your best. The best team doesn’t always win, it’s the team that plays the best that usually wins.

There’s no shame in losing if you do your best. Sometimes your opponent is simply better than you. Other times, it’s just a matter of bad luck. Instead of worrying about wins and losses, focus on doing your absolute best.

The wins will come if you and your teammates play hard. Focus on doing your best rather than being the best.

4. Start off Easy

A simple way to improve your confidence is to start with something easy. For example, a basketball player can begin every practice with easy shots a few feet from the basket. Watching the ball go through the hoop over and over helps you build a rhythm and gain confidence in your shooting ability.

Tiger Woods starts his practice sessions by making 100 three-foot putts.

5. Practice

Above all, the best thing you can do to improve your confidence is practice.

Confidence is based on evidence and experience, and this comes from practice. If you constantly work on your skills, you’ll know what you’re capable of and have more faith in your ability. You’ll be able to relax and perform with confidence in games because you’ve put in the time during practice.

It’s not as hard as it sounds to help your kid develop basic athletic skills like strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination.

Source: http://www.activekids.com/parenting-and-family/articles/5-ways-for-young-athletes-to-build-confidence