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3 Tips From a baseball mentality coach on teaching your kid Confidence  

A common question received at Mint comes from parents wanting to help their young athlete develop more confidence. In the same sense, your children have learned so much from you; they also get their first look at confidence from you. The people and environment your children are exposed to early on will dramatically affect their developing relationships with confidence. Kids need to know that effort (not just results) are important, that coming up short does not make one a failure, and that learning or acquiring new skills is supposed to be clunky and uncomfortable at first. They need to understand that how they speak to themselves (either out loud or in their head) is important. Self-talk is at the root of confidence, more importantly, positive self-talk. We know from the works of (Leung and Poon, 2001, and Owens and Chard, 2001) that negative self-talk will come at a cost. It has been linked to disorders such as; anxiety, aggression, depression, and low self-esteem. So the first thing a parent can do is maintain a healthy, positive dialogue with themselves, especially in the presence of their children.


Here are some other things you can do as a parent to help your child develop a strong sense of confidence. 


  • Show the love - Everything is better with love, and your child needs to know you love them. Regardless of wins, losses, failed tests, and disappointments. Ensure your children know their love is inherent to them and never depends on their results on a sporting field.  
  • Allow them to fail - It's only natural to want to insulate our children from failure and the emotions that come with it, but in doing so, we do them a disservice. Kids learn a lot through trial and error. Try, adjust, and try again. Quite the illusion for us to paint the picture that we always win on the first time, that everything comes easy and coming up short never happens. Instead, let them experience the sting of failure and help them build defenses to deal with the inevitable tough times to come again in the future. 
  • Make them carry their bag - Kids want to feel needed, appreciated, and part of a team, from carrying their bags to and from sporting events to age-appropriate jobs around the house. Being needed by a team, much less your home team, your family is something every child should feel. Our family is the 1st team we all will ever play on. 
  • Celebrate effort, not outcomes–Praising your kids' effort regardless of accomplishment is essential. We want to be careful in attaching praise only on days of great personal success. Let your child know you value and appreciate their hard work when learning a new skill. Help them understand early in skill adoption that the victory is in the effort and the results won't be immediate.
  • Model confidence in yourself - Your actions will affect your child's behavior and how they feel about themselves. Your child seeing you approach new challenges happily with courage and optimism, will motivate them to do the same. Seeing you adjust to shortcomings by reflecting, reassessing, and trying again is a powerful learning example to set.


Remember, as a parent, intentions matter, but the environment you create and maintain is even more important than that. This will have a substantial impact on your children. Teach them to find the good in every day, to give great effort, and to speak to themselves like a dear friend. Create an environment full of love, rewarding effort, and accepting shortcomings. Doing so will be an excellent 1st step into helping your child develop lifelong confidence.  


Book a consultation here if you want to have a conversation and see if Mint is right for you or your athlete.



Leung, P. W., and Poon, M. W. (2001). Dysfunctional schemas and cognitive distortions in psychopathology: a test of the specificity hypothesis. Retrieved from: 


Owens, G. P., and Chard, K. M. (2001). Cognitive distortions among women reporting childhood sexual abuse. Retrieved from:

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