by Amy Saffell
Self-confidence is a funny thing. A lot of times, it doesn’t start within ourselves at all. We gain so much from paying attention to the world around us and putting ourselves in position to learn from others. It is at this point when our abilities and self-perception drastically improve!
I work with a wheelchair sports and independence program here in Nashville. Kids in chairs participate in a variety of activities through the program in order to learn how to become more independent and, in the process, they get the opportunity to play sports that they may never before tried.
During a wheelchair basketball tournament this season, I was talking with one of the moms whose 12-year-old daughter is turning into quite an athlete. She’s only been on our team for a few years, but it’s clear that she has a future in the sport. Although I haven’t witnessed it, I’d heard that her independence skills outside of sports weren’t what they should be for someone so capable on a basketball court. Her mom told me that, for years, her daughter always said she didn’t think that she could ever move away from home. She lacked confidence in her abilities. Her parents tried to convince her otherwise, but it never sunk in; that is, until she started playing basketball.