It’s no secret that I have a seemingly endless list of things that I love about cheer and tumbling – and while I couldn’t exactly rank the importance of each of those things, I can say (with confidence) that building confidence nears the top.
Confidence weaves its way throughout everything our athletes do – from how they approach their routines and performances to making new friends, trying something new, or speaking up in their future careers. But, for most of us, confidence isn’t something just naturally inherent to our personalities; it’s something learned and something earned.
It takes guts to decide to try something new, and even more of the same to move beyond thinking about it to actually doing it. Those “guts” come from confidence. It’s the knowledge that, even if you don’t succeed at first, you’ll be resilient and be able to brush yourself off, refocus, and try again.
Let’s just be honest – rarely do we try a new stunt and execute it perfectly on the first try: it takes lots of practice. We work hard to perfect every motion, working through slips, falls, and coordination challenges. But when we get it, we gain more than just that perfect execution: we gain pride, and with that pride comes a bit of confidence. Confidence in our abilities, our strength, and our potential.
It’s this last bit that holds perhaps the most power of all. We can prove to ourselves through gained successes that we can do any number of things. Once you can cartwheel, you’re confident doing that, right? But true confidence comes from learning to recognize our own potential – to not do only what we’ve proven we can do, but what we might do.
This is not just a skill that benefits tumbling; it benefits us through life.
Every time we fall and get back up, we grow more determined. And every time we work through our challenges, we gain more faith in ourselves. That faith, that pride, serves as our confidence foundation.
Confidence is not going into something that’s easy and doing it because you know you can; often, that’s just taking the easy way. Confidence is challenging yourself and thinking of new ways to test your abilities, endurance, and will – over and over. It’s being able to try new things, knowing you may at first fail. It’s brushing yourself off and trying again – even when eyes are watching.
Confidence doesn’t just happen: it’s earned.
Help your child to not just feel proud of their achievements, but to crave more. To believe in themselves that they can do more. To challenge themselves in new ways – on the floor and throughout life.
Not every attempt will be a success. But if they keep attempting, the successes, determination, and resilience will build into a more confident version of themselves. Help them to earn it.