• Luke Towning

These two words have the power to increase your child's confidence

‘I just want them to become more confident’

…is quite possibly the thing we hear most from parents when talking to us about what they want for their child when they bring them to our sessions.

We’ve seen first-hand what confidence can do for the physical and mental well-being of kids.

It is a sort of magic that happens once they get that little bit of self-belief.

Their sporting development increases, they actively talk to people instead of shying away and they seem to attract more and more friends.

But what can you parents do to help build that confidence?

These two little words will go a LONG way to helping.

‘Good effort’

Seems so simple but there is science behind this. Let us explain…

Imagine little Freddie joins a football team having never played before. He soon finds that everyone is better than him and his confidence is knocked.

You know you need him to stick at it in order for him to improve but it doesn’t look like he’ll be smashing in hat-tricks anytime soon. It’s a matter of time before he throws in the towel.

This is where those two magic words come in.

You now start PRAISING HIS EFFORT as opposed to the results

Effort is the one thing we can all control regardless of our talent.

By praising Freddie’s effort, it means it doesn’t matter if he scores a goal or wins a match, i.e. a ‘result’ he might not be able to control, because he is getting positive feedback simply from trying hard.

Freddie now associates trying hard (which could be practising extra, keeping focused at his training sessions etc) with positive responses from his parents so he starts trying harder.

And what happens when we try harder/practise longer at a new skill?

We get better at it.

And what happens when we get better at something?

We become more confident.

This works for anything - school work, playing an instrument or learning languages.

Use phrases like:

‘I saw you practising your keepy-ups outside today, great effort. Do you think you can get to 10 by next week?’

‘8/10 on your spelling test? Good effort. What words do we need to work on?’

‘Good effort at training tonight. You looked like you tried really hard’

Give it a try and see how it works. Drop us a line for more info on this and also check out a book called Mindset by Carol Dweck where this blog was inspired from. A great read for parents who want to understand more about helping their kids foster a growth mindset.

Foot-Tech Academy is a children’s football coaching school in North & East Leeds that provides a skills-based curriculum to help kids improve fast.

We are not a team, we simply provide a non-pressurised environment where children can learn at their own pace under the guidance of highly talented, professional coaches.

For more info visit

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