Top Ten Tips to Build Confidence in Basketball

Besides the general benefits of being physically active—feeling happier, more confident, and having fun—the sport of basketball can help kids develop social skills and coping strategies that are useful at school, home and in peer groups. Getting your child going with basic basketball skills at a young age not only helps encourage exercise, but serves as a foundation for staying active later in life.

We asked our new Mayfair Parkway Basketball Coach, Chante Clarke for some of her best basketball tips to help get your kids more confidence while playing the game of basketball. 

1) Think “Next Play”

Don’t focus on the mistakes you made during your game. Focus on your future games and how you can improve for the next one. 

2) Positive Self-Talk

Speak positively to yourself. Positive self talk can drive out negativity. Don’t dwell on a bad performance. Focus on your next game and what you will do to improve for next time.

3) Learn from Your Mistakes

Mistakes are expected. You cannot be perfect 100% of time. However, each time you play, you are bound to get a little better and, with practice, your performance will improve over time.

4) Always Make Hustle Plays

Besides helping you improve, coaches always notice when a player is giving 110% and they might play you more often than somebody else who may not work as hard. Don’t be afraid to dive after some loose balls and take some risks in your game.

5) Keep Your Head Up

As you’re learning to play, it’s critical to keep your head up and look around, instead of looking straight down at the ball as you bounce it. Good ball players can see their teammates, opponents, and the hoop at the same time.  (Source:

6) Start Moving, When You’re Ready

Basketball isn’t played from a standing position most of the time, so it’s important to start dribbling on the move. Start by walking as you dribble, at a comfortable pace. When you’re comfortable dribbling and walking, start jogging, and eventually start trying to do short sprints while you dribble. Don’t worry about going super-fast, just worry about controlling the ball.

7) Accept Criticism

Be open to constructive criticism on your performance. It will help you to be a better basketball player if you are willing to listen to feedback (good and bad) while reflecting on your performance.

8) Push Off with Your Feet, Jumping Straight Up

To get extra power from your shot, crouch down and pop up with your legs as you shoot. When your arm gets to the highest point, you should jump slightly, extending your legs and putting some extra power under the shot with your jump.

9) Be a Team Player

The best players on each team should also be the best teammates. Having a “We over Me” attitude with an understanding that the needs of the team come before your personal needs. Have a postive attitude and encourage others to also be positive. Being able to advocate for yourself and for your teammates makes a difference in the level of your game/performance. Communication is key.

10) Be Sure to Practice

Learn to ‘feel’ where the ball is at all times, have control over it, and be able to do anything you can with it. The more you practice your fundamentals, the better you’ll become. Dribble a basketball when you walk to school or to your friend’s house. Practice as much as you can where ever you can!

Basketball Programs at Mayfair Clubs

We offer a variety of Basketball programming for Kids at Mayfair Clubs – after school and weekend programs as well as kids camps during school holidays. Visit our website to learn more and to register.

About the Author

Chante Clarke started playing basketball when she was 10 years old. She has played varsity basketball during her high school career. She then went on to play a few years at both Memorial University in Newfoundland and York University.

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