Building Sports Kids’ Confidence by Creating Community

Building Sports Kid's Confidence

Boost Young Athletes’ Communication and Cooperation

Chasta Hamilton, author of “Trash The Trophies: How To Win Without Losing Your Soul,” was seeing red flags in her dance studio.

The owner and artistic director of Stage Door Dance Productions thought that the often expensive “pay to play” dance scene was creating too many expectations about winning trophies. She saw dance studios performing routines that were seen as “winners” simply so they could win competitions.

She took a step back and re-invented her dance program to focus on boosting kids’ social skills, collaborating and giving back to the community.

For example, before this shift, the students had a hard time looking each other in the eye or introducing themselves to others…

They practiced these skills at a leadership lab created by Hamilton. They also started dancing at senior centers, hospitals and festivals. Young dancers participated in fundraisers for the philanthropy shows, and had to learn how to give possible donors “elevator pitches.”

This focus, she says, reaped a “return on investment” for the dancers and their parents. This type of focus can yield benefits for kids who participate in any extracurricular activity, she stresses.

“Before we made this shift, I was noticing students had trouble looking others in the eye or standing up and introducing themselves.”

But she saw a boost in the dancers’ confidence after they started focusing more on community and working together. In these efforts, one of Hamilton’s most important goals is focusing on the process, not the product.

“We are constantly talking about process over end product. If you have process, product happens,” she says. Rather than focusing on winning competitions, they concentrated on building people skills and community.

Hamilton says that the dance program, with its fundraisers, focus on collaboration and philanthropy shows became “the heart of the community.”

She believes that teams involved in any sport can follow this example and learn better communication and cooperation skills. They can also develop pride in contributing to the larger community. And all of that, she says, builds confidence in and out of sports.

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The Confident Sports Kid

Help Athletes Improve Confidence

When kids lack confidence, they doubt themselves, stop taking risks, play tentatively, and are hard on themselves. As a result, kids often lose their motivation to improve. Ultimately, these barriers keep them from enjoying sports and making the most of their physical talent.

The Confident Sports Kid” program is actually two programs: one that teaches sports parents how to boost their kids’ confidence, and another that teaches young athletes age 8 to 18 how to improve their self talk, avoid negative thinking, overcome expectations that limit confidence, and much more. The program will help kids boost their confidence in sports and life…and enjoy sports more.

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