Saturday, 18 February 2012

Youth Sports Weekend: A Little Self Confidence (with linky)

One of my aims for this little SportyMummy blog, is to develop a Youth Sports community where parents can support, encourage and motivate each other to support their children’s participation in youth sports. If your children have participated in a youth sport or an active pursuit this week-end, you can link up your post with the linky, found at the end of this post,  and share the fun!

Just lately, my 8 year old daughter Flash has been having a mini crisis of confidence at little athletics.

Normally she is self assured and quietly confident in her own abilities. However, late last year, at her regular Saturday mooring meet, Flash fouled 3 throws in the discuss and didn’t record a distance….The self-doubt started to creep in.

When it came to one of her favorite events, the long jump, Flash suddenly became overly concerned of fouling by overstepping the line. Instead of running in at full speed and launching herself. Flash would run, slowdown, then leap. She would not pull her legs up out of fear of falling backwards. As a result her jumps have been about 30cm (a foot) shorter that they were at the end of last year.

Not training during the holiday break seems to have compounded these thoughts of self doubt. She has also been slipping on the wet grass at the athletics oval and she has  had a bad collision with a hurdle. I think she has been feeling a little insecure starting at a new school campus as well. I think all these things combined have put a large dent in her self-confidence.

Part of my daughters personality I think lends itself to perfectionism. She is very driven and single minded in pursuing the things that she wants. She works really hard and gives 100% effort at training and at school to achieve her goals. But I think that one of the down-sides to perfectionism is the habit of not trying if you think you are not going to do well, win or be the best. In life,  I don’t want her to be scared of trying new things for fear of failure and I have been trying to find ways to increase her confidence.

Some  mums with older kids in little athletics suggested that I get Flash some spikes. This is the first year that flash has been old enough to wear spikes and I have been reluctant to buy them simply based on their cost. However, many of the girls she races with in the representative competitions wear spikes. You should have seen her eyes sparkle when I said she could have some!!

Some scary looking spikes!! (spikes on the left and  waffles on the  right)


This week at training, it was raining slightly. Normally training would have been cancelled but because it is raining so much lately I think the organizers were happy to take what they could get. The scheduled events of high jump and hurdles were cancelled and only long jump was run. Flash ran and jumped into that pit for a whole hour…and just didn’t want to stop!!

The coach (importantly not her mum!!) explained to her that she needed to jump at her fastest point in the run, jump high and lift her legs…..and she flew, with a smile from ear to ear!!

At the meet on Saturday, Flash was up bright and early busting to go and do her long-jumps. And she Flew. Not only was she back to her previous best…she managed to jump a new personal best and break the club record! Her self confidence is back!



I knew that she had it in her the whole time but it was self doubt that was holding her back.

It has me wondering how many other times self doubt holds people back. Weather they are worried about making new friends, applying for a new job or a promotion or starting on their dream to be a published writer. Often the fear of failure is just in ones head. Once overcome, people could really do amazing things….if only it was as easy as a new pair of shoes and an hours practice!!

I’m hoping this experience will demonstrate to her that she need not limit herself and the activities she does for fear of failure. It is interesting how a few bad experiences can creep into other areas of your life and affect those as well.

 It is reassuring to know however, how some positive experiences can also affect other areas of your life and increase your overall self belief and confidence as well!!

You can read about the experiences of  families involved in youth sports below. If your family has been involved in a youth sport, please feel free to add your link below!


17 comments:

  1. Good work Flash and Mumma for being so gentle and supportive :)

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    1. Thanks so much Jen, for reading and adding such a kind comment!

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  2. Thanks so much Jen, for reading and adding such a kind comment!

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  3. I think you are certainly on to something about self doubt holding us all back, that and the fact it is always easier not to try. You have a wonderful attitude towards life

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    1. Thanks Rhianna, for linking up a post and for your kind comment! You are right though...sometimes it's easier not to try...but then, you will never really know what you are capable of!

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  4. Great story - It can be expensive, but giving your kids the right equipment to compete can be the difference between - confidence and self-doubt - competing and quitting - winning and losing.

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    1. Thank you! Wearing those spikes has certainly given her confidence!!

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  5. Self doubt puts a terrible dampner on things.
    I'm so glad your lovely Flash has hit her straps again.
    They are some scary spikes - and a brilliant shot.
    :-) x

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  6. Thanks Shar! Self doubt does put a dampener on things doesn't it. If only it was as easy as buying new shoes to regain some self belief!!

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  7. Great post. Just shared on the bleacher moms facebook page!!
    https://www.facebook.com/bleachermoms/posts/113540742109121

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  8. That is so nice. I can think of a lot of people that let self doubt hold them back and yet everyone else can see they are totally amazing. Great post- I may have to send a link to a couple of people who could use the inspiration :-)

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    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment! That was exactly the message I was trying to get across!

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  9. this is such a nice story of perserverance and overcoming self doubts - all done with such grace on yours and your daughters part. It's a tough call, these situations test us as parents - I am motivated to perservere in a situation with my son after reading this - something he is doubting himself on but we know he can do it.
    thanks!

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    1. THanks so much Rachel for such a lovely comment! I wish you all the best with your son and I'd love to hear about how it goes!

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  10. Really nice post, and relevant not just in a youth sports context but in general! I actually could use this little piece of advice myself. And I really like this as an idea for a linky too.
    Visiting via FYBF

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    1. Thank you so much for saying that Janelle!!

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