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UK Coaching Participation Team
Developing Mindsets

How to Build Confidence in Your Sessions

Confidence is having belief in yourself and that you can do things. These top tips can help you plan to build the confidence of those taking part in your sessions

Low confidence can mean that people in your session are unwilling to try new things and engage in your session. Achieving success helps people build their confidence. This includes small steps of success and improvement, not just the achievement of big goals.

What can coaches do?

Know the person

Understand that confidence is not linear or constant and that it can increase or decrease between people attending your sessions due to things happening in their own lives. As a coach you will need to help people achieve regular small successes to maintain confidence to help them to continue to enjoy the sessions and keep them coming back.

Buddy up

Have a system where people who already attend your session ‘buddy’ new people. This helps by easing the anxieties of new starters and contributes to your existing group members feeling helpful, valued and part of something.

Show progress

It is better to show someone learning a skill rather than doing the skill competently. This helps people understand that not being perfect and learning is part of the process.

Frequently recognise small steps in progress, especially those linked to people’s motivations and goals.


Praise people in your session often and in a meaningful way. Everyone likes to be told they have done well or achieved a target or goal. Try praising people quietly as well as enthusiastically to a whole group. Remember to praise achievement of personal goals as well as praising team or group achievements.

Expect highs and lows

A dip of confidence in the middle of a session is fine. People should leave your session feeling confident, so plan for success at the end of your session.

Plan ahead

Avoid the temptation of introducing new and difficult skills at the end of a session that could negatively affect confidence.

Understand people's  goals

Support personal goal setting within your sessions – each person’s goals and success criteria are personal to them. These goals and success indicators may change over time or very quickly depending on the individual and their motivations. Spend time having conversations with people to understand what is important to them.

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UK Coaching Participation Team