I recently read somewhere that “confidence comes naturally with success, but success comes only to those who are confident” and this left a lasting impression on me. Talk about catch-22! I mean, that’s a bit like attending a job interview for a more senior role, only to be told that you are pretty much a perfect fit – but that you lack the experience of working at that level.
Confidence is undoubtedly one of life’s most precious commodities, but its fragility should not be underestimated either. Often having taken (what feels like) an age to develop, it can be destroyed within the briefest of moments and the road to recovery can be both painful and arduous. And so, if our children have been fortunate enough to have cultivated even the slightest amount, let’s do our utmost to preserve it.
‘Watching from the sidelines’ by Gaynor Hall
Be sure to take a moment before you rush straight in and speak,
Will what you say be useful? Will it help him reach his peak?
Are your words borne out of anger, frustration, or displeasure?
Are you criticising him for ‘failing’ at the thing he does for leisure?
I’m sure you were ‘quite something’ on the pitch ‘back in the day’,
But it’s only his first season and he’s still just learning to play.
He doesn’t know what position he is or understand his role –
He just feels enormous pressure to go out and ‘net’ that goal.
You wouldn’t condemn a tiny child who’s struggling to read,
Nor shout at a crying baby who’s refused to take a feed.
But your words have cut him to the quick, he no longer stands so tall,
And all because he failed to win a tackle and lost the ball!
Next time you’re on the sidelines passing judgement from afar,
Remember they’re only children, not Ronaldo or Cantona…
The ‘result’ is quite irrelevant, you see, it really doesn’t matter,
But with each disparaging thing you say their confidence could shatter.