Creating confident individuals

Over recent weeks we have come to realise our private football coaching sessions are not just about developing the technical ability but our players get a lot more out of them. Here we discuss the way we get great confident individuals via our sesssions!

What is confidence?

When searching for the definition of confidence this is the return we get “a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something.” Now obviously this definition is a universal one, but when we apply it to football it would be the players have the belief they are able to succeed on the football pitch, showcasing their skills.

However, we want players to leave our 1-2-1 and small group sessions not only being confident on the football pitch but also in their day to day life. Whether this be when out with their friends, or school or home life we want them to thrive and succeed in whatever they put their mind to!

In the rest of this blog, we will discuss 5 ways in which we help to develop high levels of confidence via our sessions!

Step 1: The Environment 

This is the key step to helping to make sure we get our outcome of confident players. If the environment is not right then you will not get individuals to be confident.

We class the right environment as one which is supportive, mistake welcoming and allows players to express themselves.

As soon as players arrive at our private sessions, we begin with saying all we ask is the player works hard all the way through, and to not worry about things not going their way. We also make them realise that mistakes are chances for them to learn and develop further.

Another way we help to set up the environment for success is by creating a relaxed environment, which means very little stress. By doing this, it allows the player to come out of their shell socially, before beginning to express themselves technically.

For further information on how to set-up a positive environment see:

Step 2: Clear and Specific Praise

We have always believed the way we will get the most out of our players is by giving them praise at the right time. The key word in this, is at the right time! Sometimes it comes to the point where we can over-praise and this means the effect the praise has on the individual isn’t as strong.

Within our 1-2-1 football coaching sessions we look for moments, where the player does something creative, or tries something new and supply them with plenty of positive praise. If we look at the psychology behind this, this praise reinforces the behaviour of the player meaning they are much more likely to do it again.

By praising the individual in our environment, they build up the confidence to then go and try this in another environment, whether this be their training or even better their games.

Step 3: Learning via Discovery 

If you look at the way children develop, a lot of their learning comes from discovery and trying new things, and this should not stop as they get older. When we begin to coach, we start to tell players to do things a certain way, however that is our way and not their’s.

Due to this, we want to let players discover new skills or new techniques themselves, and we just provided a platform to aid this. The reason player discovery is so vital in developing confidence, is because if the player works it out themselves, rather than being told then they become confident in themselves to perform the skills or techniques.

Personally, when players ask me how to do something or the best way to do it I will say “am I going to be there on your games to tell you how to do it?” Because the answer to this is no, it encourages them to learn and practice themselves to understand the skills and techniques.

Step 4: Repetition, Repetition, Repetition 

One thing we like to do in our sessions, is ensure every drill finishes on a positive set, as we do not finish on a bad set! As part of this, we get the players to complete many repetitions in order to get the feel of it.

The saying goes it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, so by giving the players this extra repetition, gives them more hours to work on the specific aspect. 

Furthermore to this, we look to get as much repetition in as possible because it builds the confidence for when that scenario happens in a game. By repeating it in a no pressure environment it means when it comes to doing it a game, the player has already been exposed to the environment and are more likely to be successful.

Step 5: Goal/Target Setting 

This is an amazing one, because not only does it apply to our sessions but they can also take this away to other aspects in their life. By setting them a goal within our sessions, it gives them something to strive for. Once they have reached this goal they then become confident in their ability to reach these levels.

In addition to this, it gives them a skill they can use outside of our sessions helping them to set goals/targets away from the football pitch. This can then be used to develop confidence in their ability elsewhere, creating confident young individuals.

One aspect to be weary of when setting goals however, is the fact you do not want to set some goals which are too high as this can have the opposite affect. These need to be realistic, in order to allow the players to actually achieve them.

To Conclude

Confidence is a big thing in every aspect of life, and also very important on the football pitch as it allows players to showcase their ability. 

We look to use these tactics to improve confidence within our sessions, but also supply tools for our players to use away from the football pitch. By looking at the player holistically, we believe it allows them to thrive much more rather than focusing on one aspect too much. This helps us to reach our goal of developing as many players as possible in the Stoke-on-Trent/Staffordshire area.

Let us know your thoughts on how we like to build confident players in the comments.



 James Redford

 JCR Sports Coaching

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