What is the Difference Between Self-esteem and Self-confidence

Warren 'Coach' NyeAll Sports, Sport Tips

Mind Over Sport with Coach Nye…

“The tragedy is that so many people look for self-confidence and self-respect everywhere except within themselves, and so they fail in their search.”
Dr Nathaniel Branden

Today I like to touch on the subject of self-esteem, which, sports parents and kids confuse self-confidence and self-esteem in youth sports. There’s a difference between the two…

Confidence is all about how much kids believe in their ability to execute a task or skill—it’s about kids’ performance in sports.

Self-esteem, on the other hand, is more about the whole person. It’s based on kids’ self-concept—how they view themselves as people, not as athletes.

Knowing Who You Are

Kids’ self-esteem is about how they define themselves (outside of sport) and relate to other people.

Here’s the problem with self-esteem in youth sports. If kids’ self-esteem is based on their success or failure in youth sports, they can feel more pressure when competing.
When athletes’ self-esteem is based only on sports achievement, they feel upset when they don’t succeed and it hurts their self-esteem.

It’s not a good idea for kids to link their self-esteem with their achievement in sports.

It’s possible that young athletes who do this are seeking approval from others via youth sports.

Parents should help athletes understand that sports is something they do, not who they are!

The Self-Esteem Road

So to answer the question, “will sports develop a kid’s self-esteem and self-confidence?”

Yes, participating in youth sports may boost self-confidence in sports. But you don’t want your kids to participate in sports in the hopes that excelling in athletics will improve their self-esteem.
Self-esteems has to come from your athletes’ understanding of their self-concept (who they are) and a positive appraisal of their self-concept.

Below is one of the worksheets I use with my athletes to help improve their own self-esteem. Have a look and give it to your players to try it out.

Self-Esteem Worksheet #2 

Until next time.

#MakeTheDifference

Coach Nye


About the Author

With years of experience in sports and business – from sweeping the floors when starting off in business, to coaching a very successful National Championship hockey team and then managing other hockey teams along the way – the Coach has seen it all!

Coach Nye is the founder and CEO of Mind Over Sport (www.CoachingMindOverSport.com), a world wide leader in effective mental fitness/toughness training, leadership, stress management training and life coaching. Since being involved in the sport of hockey, Coach Nye has trained numerous players to the professional level and continues to this day to connect with them and many others to help them through different stages in their playing careers. Coach Nye has created his own weekly podcast show, Mind Over Sport Podcast Show with Coach Nye with over thousands of followers and listeners. While also working with great organizations such as Womens Hockey Life, The Coaches Site, My Pro Hero, Weiss Tech Hockey Magazine and Changing the Game Project. He currently resides in Lucan, Ontario Canada.


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