I can remember driving to hockey games as a kid, listening to pump-up music on my Sony Walkman in the back seat (yes, I’m dating myself). I was both nervous and excited. I literally had no idea how I was going to do, but I’d cross my fingers and hope for the best!

 

It was the feedback that I would get from my coaches during the game and my parents on the ride home that would tell me whether or not I did well. How I felt about myself was often based on their feedback.

 

This was a trend that existed in my life beyond sport. If someone told me I was good at something, I believed I was good at it, and was able to perform well. 

 

Conversely, if someone criticized me (constructive or not), it would negatively impact my self-confidence and in turn, negatively impact my performance. 

 

Sound familiar?

 

The idea of assessing or validating my own performance or being able to grow my own confidence wasn’t even a blip on my radar.

 

It wasn’t until I hit my mid 20’s that I learned about the value of self-empowerment, self-reflection, and self-validation.

 

This discovery left me questioning “What if we could find a way to bolster self-empowerment, self-reflection and self-validation in youth through sport?”…If we could shift the focus so that the cycle starts with self-confidence, and the validation from others is just simply a valuable feedback tool rather than what defines them? 

 

That is the mission I’m on now, but regardless of the activity or environment, regardless of the age, all humans can benefit from learning how to start their cycle with self-confidence.

 

– Coach MJ

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