Player Reflection Tool

Confidence and trying new things


Complete the form

First, complete the 55 questions below as accurately as you can

Choose a topic area

View your results and choose an area to study

Identify two aims

Use video tasks to identify two specific things to work on

Practice to improve

Let your coach know what you are working on

Confidence varies in all people from time to time, and even very confident people sometimes have moments when they feel unable, weak or shy. The tasks, information and homework on this page will help you have more control over your confidence. Your mission is to complete all the homework tasks below and identify two key specific things that you want to work on and try to improve in your practice sessions, team training or on your own.

Lucy Bronze and Dele Alli will help us consider how to build confidence later. But let's begin by considering what confidence is and how it happens. Listen to the first four and a half minutes of the video below with Dr Ivan Joseph:

Here are the key messages:
  • Confidence is a skill and can be improved with practice
  • There is no magic solution to building confidence, it takes lots of work and lots of effort
  • The best way to improve confidence is by practising what you are not good at
  • Be persistent, keep trying

To get more confident at football you need to play lots of football. If you are a beginner footballer and you struggle with controlling a ball then your confidence will improve the more you practice. If you lack confidence to play in games, then you need to play more games. Remember what the man in the video said: Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.


Find a notepad or diary and write the date of your next football practice or game on the first page. Straight after that game or practice, make a list of three things you did well. It could be something like "A great pass..." or "I scored a goal with my left foot....".

Keep this diary for a month and make sure you update the list after each practice or game in that time.

Once you have kept your diary for a week, read it before your next football practice or game. Maybe you could take your diary with you to football and arrive early and read. Or maybe you read before you leave the house.

When you read your diary, see if you can close your eyes and picture the good things that you did. Visualise the good passes you made in previous sessions for example. Remember what they looked like to you, and what they felt like. If someone said well done to you, remember what that felt like.

Remembering your past successes will help you feel more confident.

Here are some more tips for improving confidence:

  • Accept compliments. If someone tells you you've done something well, then listen to them and accept their congratulations.
  • Act confident. Even if you're not feeling confident. It can help to start feeling more confident. Act as though you can do something, rather than if you can't do something.
  • Don't compare yourself with others. It is not helpful to think "I'm not as good as them". Instead try thinking of something you've learnt to do recently, or think of what it feels like to be getting better at something.

Winning and losing

Watch the video of the children's team in Catalunya. It is in Catalan so you'll need to read the subtitiles to understand their story. 

You should find out that they really don't win much - and they usually lose by a lot! However, what can we learn from their attitude? It is important to realise that failure is usually only temporary and almost every successful team or person has had to deal with defeat along the way.

It is not a good idea to focus on the result of a game, or to get too low when you lose. Sometimes you will lose football games even when you have played very well. You cannot control how well the other team performs and you may play against a team who is more experienced than you, older than you or who have some players who are more skilled. You should not let the result of a game determine whether the game was a success or not.

There is a very famous coach called John Wooden and this is what he says about success:

"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of".

In other words, success is not winning or losing, but success is doing your best.

Trying new things - the role of mistakes

Some people are scared of making mistakes. They only do what they know they can do, and they never try new things. They look like they are very good at doing what they do, but they are not actually learning anything new. They are only practising what they already know how to do.

In football, we need to keep learning in order to continue getting better. This means that we need to try new things. When we try new things, and when we are learning to do something new, we will make mistakes. There is nothing wrong with mistakes. They show us that we are finding something tricky, and they give us a chance to learn.

Mistakes are an essential part of learning.


Try this exercise:

  1. Make a list of three things you've learnt to do recently. (This could be anything, not just football)
  2. Write down how you learnt them, and write down what mistakes you made along the way.
  3. Now look at your list. Are there anythings that you struggled with? What did you do when you made mistakes - did you give up and stop trying? How did the mistakes help you to improve and learn?


We will now look at a way you can help get your concentration back when lose focus during a game. 

Self-Talk refers to what we say to ourselves in our heads. When we are playing football we often have a conversation going on inside our heads. Sometimes we will say things to ourselves that are helpful, sometimes we will say things to ourselves that are unhelpful.

In order to make Self-Talk work for you, it is a good idea to make your Self-Talk positive and motivational. For example, if we say "I can do it", then this reminds us that we are able to perform well.

Sometimes our Self-Talk might focus on specfic things we need to do well in order to perform. An example might be an attacker who wants to improve their dribbling but lacks confidence to try to go past a defender. They might say to themselves "Speed" to remind themselves to move quickly once they have got some space to dribble into.


Think of a quick phrase or key word that you can use as Self-Talk to help you in your football games. Choose a word or phrase that helps you imagine yourself doing things well. Have an image in your mind that goes with the word or phrase, so you say the word and imagine a picture of yourself performing well.

You will use this key word or phrase during your next game or practice. Use it before the game to help you prepare, use it when you have made a mistake to help you re-gain your confidence.


The two final videos are below, and star England internationals Lucy Bronze and Dele Alli. Choose on the videos to watch and listen to. 

Being and becoming a teenager

It can be particularly tricky to remain confident during secondary school years or when our bodies are changing into adult bodies. In our final video, Lucy Bronze talks about how she dealt with this difficult time.

Enjoy playing 

Listen to Dele Alli talk about the help his coaches have him to be confident in expressing himself. Who helps you to enjoy your football most and makes you feel comfortable playing without fear?

Growth Mindset

Finally, and very importantly, it is a good idea to learn about the Growth Mindset. Click here to take you to the learning page for this topic. This will help you to become a more confident learner, and it will help you take on new challenges.

Player Reflection Tool - Home

Dear Learner,

Welcome to your HOMEWORK page! Here you will learn about your chosen topic. It is a good idea to save the URL for this page to your favourites so you can easily return to it when you need to.

You need to work through the tasks on the page, one at a time. This might mean watching videos, it might mean doing other tasks and activities. It may be a good idea to take notes also. Remember that the more work and effort you put into the tasks, the more you will learn and the better you will become.

For most topics, there will be a PRINT OUT at the bottom of the page. You need to print this, complete the questions, and take to your coach. You need to do this so the coaches know what you are working on and are able to help you.

If any of the links on this page are broken, or you have other ideas or suggestions, please get in touch at:


Mark Carter

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Once you have completed all the homework, click on the 'Print the form' link. This will open a form which you need to print out and complete. Take this completed form to your coach.

Then click here to move onto the last part of the Tool.

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Mark Carter

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