When Your Player Loses Their Confidence

Confidence is one of the paramount tools a parent, coach, or teacher can teach a child.

On the flip side, a person who lacks confidence will be hesitant to try new or challenging things because he or she is scared of failing and the feeling of disappointing others.

This can confine them later on in life and foil them from having a successful career in the future.

There this old saying “The Enemies of Confidence are Discouragement and Fear”

As a Coach and Parent my counter to this:

“If a general shows confidence in his men but always insists on his orders being obeyed, the gain will be mutual”


“What we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy” by Sun Tzu – Art of War

It’s our responsibility to encourage and support our players as they attempt to tackle difficult tasks. Too many times we see players (Minors and Pros) lack confidence for whatever reason in their game, they instantly try to do more by:

  • Starting to force things, eventually ending up doing more harm
  • Just making more mistakes in their game

We need to recognize when a player is struggling rather than forcing the player to play harder and telling them to simplify their game. It’s always easier said than done. The good news, it is easy and here’s how:

Your first Step Is To Simplify Your Instructions & Have Patience. That’s All!

It’s always a challenge for players to be asked to play a simple game because the player feels like he or she is not contributing as much as he can.


Let’s Look at 4 Simple Ways To Rebuild Confidence In Your Players:

1. Start Easy

A simple way to improve your player confidence is to start with something that is the groundwork and type of the player they are. For example, have your goalies routinely get on the ice early, going through strict movements and having stationary shots being taken on them. By installing basic routines it will build good habits, help build a nice rhythm and overall the team will gain confidence.

2. Practice

This is key for any sport and the best thing any athlete can do to improve their confidence is practice!

Confidence is based on evidence and experience, and this comes from practice. If you constantly work on their skills, you’ll know what your players are capable of and have more faith in their abilities. Players will be able to relax and perform with confidence in games because they have put in the time during practice.

3. Focus on Doing Your Best

Let’s face it the objective is to win, win and win. The reality, winning shouldn’t cause your players to lose sight of the most important goal and that is doing their best at this stage.

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

4. Do Not Fear Failure

Lastly, Confidence comes down to the battle between flight and fight. We have two ways to let fear control us.  A lack of confidence means you’re afraid to fail. Fear of failure will paralyze you if you allow your fear to alter the way you play your game or sport. Or my favorite, fear is a powerful emotion to help you fight, which will give you the ultimate power of control of your confidence. Don’t let it get the best of you and let’s show our players how to “fight” and control their fear.



Related Article – Hockey Parents – How Is Your Child Doing In Hockey

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About Michael Orlotti

Michael has played various levels in Minor Hockey in the old MTHL league, High School Hockey at C.W. Jeffrey’s C.I., College Hockey with Seneca Braves - Now Called Seneca Stingers and was invited to play in Italy for the HC Milano Vipers. Attained his National Coaching Certification Level I & II from Hockey Canada. Also, Coached & Trained Players at various levels starting at the House League and through the GTHL A to AAA levels