Libby Ludlow is a lawyer and also Founder and Co-President of Z Girls, a website that is dedicated to empowering girls in sports. It would behoove me to mention that Ludlow is also a former Olympic athlete. This past November, Ludlow wrote a great blog piece on the difference between confidence and self-esteem and why it matters.
Ludlow outlines ways in our society that self-worth is linked to a person’s achievement. The story is brilliant, and is one that I have seen reflected in a lot of athletes. I remember one high school athlete who put all of her self worth into whether she was a starter or not, regardless of how she played during that games. All that mattered to her was that status. Her self-worth was tied 100% to how she was viewed by the public. That boost to her self-esteem gave her a boost to her an unhealthy boost to her confidence. This led to false confidence and the downfall of team chemistry.
As coaches, it is our duty to help athletes understand their role, and disassociate their perception of their role to their self-worth. To provide them when genuine praise and not false praise, as is so common in the millennial parenting. It is important that our athletes find value off of the court, and as coaches, we need to help them find it.
Self-esteem is the value you see yourself having in the world, while confidence is related to action and is a belief that you can succeed at something. – Katty Kay
I really encourage you to go and explore Z Girls and especially the article linked to above by Libby Ludlow.