Young athletes develop confidence one step at a time and it is often overlooked as a key ingredient for a child's success and enjoyment of sports.
Confidence is often the difference between an athlete looking forward to a competition and dreading it. Confidence is often the difference between a child wanting to go to practice and wanting to quit. Confidence is the difference between and athlete being able to handle an adverse situation and one crumbling at the first sign of difficulty. And confidence is often hard to put your finger on, too.
If we as coaches or parents ask them to take on more than they can handle or put them in a training situation they are not yet ready for, we are not helping build that confidence.
On the other hand, if we make sure young athletes are placed in situations where they are able to learn, be challenged (but not overwhelmed), and be successful you might just be surprised that the athlete climbs an entire staircase of confidence steps when you least expect it!