Advanced search

Ask Thierry Henry your confidence related questions ahead of his Sky Academy Confidence Month event - £250 Love2Shop voucher to be won NOW CLOSED

(69 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 28-Sep-15 11:26:21

UPDATE on 22nd October: We're now offering MNers the chance to ask their confidence related questions to former football superstar Thierry Henry. Thierry is hosting a Sky Sports Living For Sport day on Tuesday 27th October. Post your questions for Thierry here before midnight on Monday 26th October. We will then post a link to his answers in November.


Davina McCall, Jessica Ennis-Hill CBE and Thierry Henry are supporting Sky Academy - a set of initiatives run by Sky that use the power of TV, creativity and sport to help young people unlock their potential.

Sky Academy has recently launched a Confidence Month in a bid to highlight the importance of confidence in young people's development. As part of the campaign, Sky is showcasing its five Sky Academy initiatives which each aim to build practical skills, experience and confidence, with the aim of helping one million young people by 2020.

To celebrate Sky Academy's Confidence Month, we're offering MNers a chance to post questions for Davina and Jessica, themed around confidence, whether that's confidence in your DC's life or confidence issues Davina and Jessica may have faced in their careers. You have until midnight this Wednesday 30th September to post your questions for Davina and until midnight Tuesday 20th October, see below for further details.

The initiatives - Sky Sports Living for Sport, Sky Academy Skills Studios, Sky Academy Careers Lab, Sky Academy Starting Out and Sky Academy Scholarships - harness Sky's strengths in media and technology, as well as the passion and expertise of its well-known faces and people.

- Sky Sports Living for Sport is made up of multi-week and one-day sports projects with schools throughout the UK and Ireland. Founded on the belief that sport has the power to transform young people's lives, the initiative aims to help young people build practical skills and self-confidence.
- Sky Academy Skills Studios is an interactive learning experience giving eight to 18-year-olds the chance to use the latest broadcast technology to make a TV report on subjects they are studying at school. It combines a behind-the-scenes tour at Sky's offices with a hands-on experience of its purpose-built studios where the students write, produce and direct their own short news bulletin.
- Sky Academy Careers Lab is a full-day careers experience giving 16 to 19 year-olds the chance to take part in practical workplace challenges and learn about careers in media, business and technology.
- Sky Academy Starting Out opens up Sky to young people, offering experience and employment opportunities to help them prepare for the world of work.
- Sky Academy Scholarships is a bursary scheme that supports some of the most exciting emerging talent in the worlds of sport and the arts. As well as financial backing, the scholarships provide assistance and mentoring from Sky's staff and other experts.

For more information on Sky Academy, visit or follow Sky Academy on Twitter @SkyAcademy

Davina will be attending Sky Academy Careers Lab on Thursday 1st October and Jessica will be hosting a Sky Academy Confidence Day on Thursday 22nd October. Post your questions to Davina here before midnight on Wednesday 30th September and Jessica before midnight on Tuesday 20th October and we will send 20 questions for them to respond to. We will then post a link to Davina's responses back on the thread on 19th October and a link to Jessica's answers on 9th November.

Everyone who adds a question (regardless of whether it's answered or not) will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £250 Love2Shop voucher.

This Q&A is sponsored by Sky.


TrollTheRespawnJeremy Mon 28-Sep-15 17:43:29

I think it's a great idea and that schools should be bombarded with as many workshops and 'different thinking' initiatives as possible to broaden minds and opportunities.

It's such a complex and difficult issue to tackle.

Short-term- these events are helpful and interesting. Is there a long term strategy for localised 'Sky Academies' to work alongside schools or something similar?

A local presence with youth organisations etc is definitely something that would make me look more favourably at a business.

jonicomelately Mon 28-Sep-15 18:36:09

I would like to ask Jessica what is the best way to counter the continuing obsession with making childrens' sport very serious at a young age? I don't know what happens in the athletics world but I know a lot of sports seem to have academies, centres of excellence, schools for the talented and gifted at younger and younger ages. All this seems to do is give children who are selected (and their parents) an initial sense that they are destined for fame and greatness (this expectation can later on overwhelm them), whilst crushing the spirit of the majority who aren't selected.

I think this trend in youth sport is hugely damaging to children confidence. I don't like to think of a single child giving up a sport because they haven't made it onto a special programme, but I know that some do exactly that. I think this is a major problem in sport and may explain why participation rates are so low in the UK.

Why can't we just children enjoy sport for the sake of it, develop their skills over a long period of time and then, when they're older, those in the know can decide if they have the ability to become a professional athlete?

I'd be really interested in your thoughts Jess.

ThomasRichard Tue 29-Sep-15 00:14:29

How do you combat the media's attempts to objectify you?

purplepandas Tue 29-Sep-15 05:47:42

DD2 really struggles with self confidence issues (age 6). What small things can I do in her everyday life to help her to develop her belief in her own abilities and worth?

Alanna1 Tue 29-Sep-15 13:30:49

I would ask
(1) How could they (and/or Sky) work with schools to foster games which both encourage winning (competition can be important in life, as is learning you don't always come first) and also participation (because not every child will always win). I'm amazed at how many primary school's "sports days'" are largely only first across the line, and rarely either 5 or 6 people team-based which can spread skills, or non-winning games (duck duck goose and in and out the dusty bluebells being rare exceptions; football being quite a good playground one). Children love the variety. I have a confident DC who is a little bit disabled but sits around the middle of her peer-group because of the sheer amount of dedicated physio and exercise we do. Yet she is disheartened by standard sports days because she can't compete in that way.
(2) How could Sky especially build drama and acting opportunities, which really help self-confidence, especially with the rise of smartphones and easily accessible video, at a younger age (nursery/primary). All the children I know love watching themselves when I video them. Can Sky have competitions that use this?

Lulabellx1 Tue 29-Sep-15 14:22:27

At what level are the scholarships being offered? Is it higher education or degree level? I work at a university and we are always interested in potential funding that may help our students.

raindaisy Tue 29-Sep-15 15:15:56

I have a young teen, he has confidence but it's a very quiet one he mixes with everyone but he isn't one to stand up and speak. I worry that this lack of being outspoken in any form will hinder him later when he has to move on to college. He has been in a special group within school to try booster his confidence which it has a bit but now in year 10 it's stopped. What can I do to help. He is very much like how I was at that age and it does worry me now. I've tried to get him involved in groups activities but he just isn't interested. I'm at a loss now. Please any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you

MakeTeaNotWar Tue 29-Sep-15 15:49:01

My children are still small - 5 and 2 - but already I see fear that they can't do certain things. How can I lead by example, what kind of phrases or language should I use to encourage / reinforce confident behaviour?

hermancakedestroyer Tue 29-Sep-15 17:04:34

Sounds like a great program of events. Any initiative to boost children's self esteem and encourage them to participate in sporting activities is brilliant.
I would like to know where you can find more information about the sky scholarships out? It sounds really good.
Also how do schools find out about the sky academy?
It sounds great ladies - keep up the good work and being great role models to our young people.

sharond101 Tue 29-Sep-15 17:49:57

How do you learn to love your body, lumps, bumps and all?

InAndOfMyself Tue 29-Sep-15 20:59:19

I grew up with a severe lack of confidence, was bullied, and it was crippling. How to best support the children who don't fit neatly into boxes? How can we prevent them being othered?

Hopezibah Tue 29-Sep-15 21:25:33

I'd like to know how to get over a lifelong lack of self confidence in yourself to be able to be a good role model for the kids.

Whatever I achieve, however brilliant, i still feel lacking and like i am not good enough.

I believe that my kids can achieve anything they want to and yet I don't have that same belief for myself.

del2929 Tue 29-Sep-15 22:49:38

how can you instill confidence in young children who you know are capable of achieveing so much yet hold back due to confidence issues?

HappyMum4 Wed 30-Sep-15 12:37:07

My eldest daughter (12years) has everything going for her, she's kind, loving, thoughtful, beautiful, clever, sporty - but she has crippling confidence issues and doesn't see any of the above in herself. She doesn't shine as a result, sits quietly and doesn't put herself forward and as a result, her efforts go unnoticed and unrewarded. More confident, less able children are picked for things as the teachers "see" them. I feel like I am the only one who "sees" my daughter. I don't want her to end up the same as me, I was exactly the same at her age and have indeed become the adult version of that, as a result making friends/relationships is extremely hard and I have failed in many areas due to low self-esteem. How can I put her on the right track and help her see the true her and get her to truly believe in herself?? I couldn't and I don't know how to break the cycle. Please could you offer any advice.

MerryMarigold Wed 30-Sep-15 14:23:08

I would ask both. What did your parents do which helped your confidence?

CheeseEMouse Wed 30-Sep-15 15:12:51

Merrymarigold has just had the same thought I did!

Instead, do you ever suffer self doubt, or "imposter syndrome" and how do you deal with it now?

gazzalw Wed 30-Sep-15 19:01:58

Is it possible to instil confidence in one's children if one doesn't have it oneself?

BrandNewAndImproved Wed 30-Sep-15 20:06:58

My dc do a wide variety of sports and this has really increased there confidence as they are naturally sporty. Achieving through sport is a great confidence booster. What do you think of the everyone's a winner mentality that sport days now do. Surely it's a good way for dc who aren't as studious as some of their peers to get an award. Giving them to everyone surely takes away from the winner. Could this be why dc who later on carry on with sport when they're older give up?

MerryMarigold Wed 30-Sep-15 20:54:20

BrandNew, I would agree with you except that there are no 'awards' for Literacy or Spelling or Science or Maths (not in our schools anyway, and I've experienced 3 Primaries). Perhaps in secondary but definitely not Primary, so why should there be awards for the best at Sports? They all tend to know who is good at what, and there's a lot of playground cudos for the Sportiest. For those kids who don't really excel at anything, I think awards just push down their already low confidence.

BrandNewAndImproved Wed 30-Sep-15 21:09:42

merry my dc primary has awards and competitions for times table champion, spelling bees ect and who hands in every piece of homework through out the year. There are various more and they also get moved up the behaviour chart for trying their best and earn extra playtime. There are plenty of awards for non sporty achievers in my dcs school and that's not unusual.

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 30-Sep-15 22:16:51

How do schools get involved with the academy? It does sound like a great idea but working in a small rural school, we often miss out on opportunities like this.

MerryMarigold Thu 01-Oct-15 09:56:46

Handing in every piece of homework and trying your best are this anyone can achieve so that's great. It's not rewarding a talent, but commitment and hard work. Fantastic!

CMOTDibbler Thu 01-Oct-15 10:01:51

How do you think we can help children feel confident in what they can achieve, without having to compare to others?

BrandNewAndImproved Thu 01-Oct-15 14:36:35

Merry it is a really good school, they have loads of sporty free after school clubs and also loads of non sporty free after school clubs like photography, art, drama, booklet , Spanish so theres something for everyone. I just hate the everyone's a winner stance on sports day.

MerryMarigold Thu 01-Oct-15 14:44:25

Our school does teams so there is a winner, which is a team. But not individual winners. So, for example 100m is run by everyone individually, but each class goes against each other 1 by 1 and the points are totted up at the end.

BrandNewAndImproved Thu 01-Oct-15 14:51:00

Merry we have that to, it's divided into their house teams.

I would just like my ds to get a sticker saying winner when he wins the 100m. Maybe I'm being overly precious grin

FeelingSmurfy Thu 01-Oct-15 17:39:39

How do you learn to say no?

ButterflyOfFreedom Thu 01-Oct-15 21:18:47

My DS is only 3 but already seems to lack confidence in certain situations despite our efforts to 'big him up', praise him, tell him how great he is, etc.
Other children seem to pick up on it too with comments like 'why are you not talking?' or 'why are you quiet?' etc.
I don't want it to be an issue at all and know he is so little still - I just wondered if you had any advice on what (if anything) we should do?

Thank you.

MangoDaiquiri Fri 02-Oct-15 15:10:22

How do you manage perfectionism and putting too much pressure on yourself?

My DD is good at maths but this week her teacher pulled her dad aside at pick-up to say that she had got something wrong in her maths at school and had burst into tears and couldn't stop crying for the rest of the lesson! It was suggested that we talk to her about it being OK to make mistakes. We aren't pushy parents at all, and it isn't a particularly pushy school. This had been a bit of a problem last year and her previous teacher had spent a lot of time telling her that mistakes in her work are completely fine and normal which did improve things, but sometimes she just gets inconsolable about it. We just keep reassuring her that it's OK to make a mistake.

DrSausagedog Sat 03-Oct-15 08:28:35

Similar to other posters, how to encourage a positive attitude to give all sports a go, but not to get upset when not being picked for teams, winning etc.

CopperPan Sat 03-Oct-15 10:21:39

I'd like to know how to find confidence after experiencing disadvantages which put you in a worse position than those you're competing with, whether that's disabilities, illness or difficult life circumstances. So much in society pretends that everyone starts on the same level but with my dc their disabilities and early life difficulties makes it hard to see how they can ever do well, and they're not fooled by token efforts towards those with special needs.

Byrdie Sat 03-Oct-15 14:01:40

Sounds great and like many i'd like to know more about how schools can be put forward for this. Where is it being advertised - will the schools be selected according to criteria? Will it be state schools only?

theshooglypeg Sat 03-Oct-15 19:39:26

"Fake it till you make it". A good strategy, or one that stops you being true to yourself?

LJH79 Sun 04-Oct-15 04:16:56

How do you help children to become less anxious in social situation and to develop their confidence in new situations particularly when they have a quiet nature and personality?

Unsurechicken Mon 05-Oct-15 00:40:21

As a mum of two babies myself I'm sure you can relate how do you get the confidence to get back into exercise?

flamingtoaster Mon 05-Oct-15 14:09:04

Do either of you ever experience a crisis of confidence now? If so how do you deal with it?

BrendaandEddie Mon 05-Oct-15 14:11:41

Dear Sky
How do you reconcile the availability of porn channels on your family packages (that you have to actively opt out of), with women's self confidence?


Spirael Mon 05-Oct-15 20:53:50

What are your best techniques for instilling everyday confidence in a family member without focusing on a particular skill or talent?

manfalou Mon 05-Oct-15 21:53:40

How would you suggest boosting a childs Self Belief? When you can see he would 'smash it' if he just tried but he see's everyone else doing things better than him and won't try?

Sockattack Mon 05-Oct-15 23:06:44

What were the best confidence boosters your parents taught you?

chairmeoh Tue 06-Oct-15 10:41:23

So many comments/questions similar to my concerns!
My DD (7) is bright, friendly, kind and funny. But her self confidence is so low, coupled with shyness which exacerbates her aloofness.
There are some very strong, confident and able characters in her class, who outshine the others and get 'picked' for performances, team captains etc. She's been the bloody nativity donkey for 3 years running!
My daughter knows that even if she 'fakes it til she makes it' to tackle her shyness, she is never going to get picked because those around her 'shout' louder.
Sorry, this is turning into a moan-fest rather than a question!
My question is - do you think if I boost her self esteem the shyness will follow or should I tackle it the other way around? And how?!

Anononooo Tue 06-Oct-15 14:52:43

Ho to maintain self-confidence when someone can't do something very well - eg my dyspraxic DD - how not to turn her right off sports?

Ballysbabe Tue 06-Oct-15 15:40:28

How do I give my 17 year old son the confidence he needs to make the right decision about his next few years?

ItsaTenfromDen Tue 06-Oct-15 20:36:12

How do you find time to put yourself first? On an average day what I want to do for myself tends to be at the bottom of my list and very rarely gets off the bottom spot. I feel like it's not important to everyone else so it shouldn't matter to me but it does

BrendaandEddie Tue 06-Oct-15 21:16:41

oh these two celebrities know ALL ABOUT this, being psychologists and all, not an ex drug addict tv presenter and athlete hmm

missp0603 Thu 08-Oct-15 19:38:12

I would ask both women : How do you stop yourself thinking negative thoughts about your body image as all women struggle with this?

Catsgowoof Fri 09-Oct-15 09:24:58

how do you instill confidence without arrogance? a lot of people i know who would be described as confident i don't really like and find very full of themselces

serendipity1980 Fri 09-Oct-15 13:23:03

My DD is struggling with self confidence in all aspects of life - we encourage her and give lots of praise but she really finds it difficult to have self belief. What can we do to help?

SmileyShazza Fri 09-Oct-15 14:00:29

To Davina - We all have days when we don't feel our best and may have issues with self-esteem or lack of confidence. How do you deal with those days?

EasterRobin Thu 15-Oct-15 22:43:47

Should I really encourage my child to believe she can be "the best" at something she is competing in?

SuzCG Fri 16-Oct-15 10:04:06

My kids enjoy taking part in sports at school but both know they are not up there with the sporting best (they're never on the A team shall we say). Everything these days seems to be league tabled and measured - which sometimes makes them feel a bit lacking. How can I help my children to continue to do their best and be happy with their own performances and improvements? It doesn't seem to matter how many times I tell them they are good at other lessons & subjects - it's always the sporting achievements that get the glory, not maths & spelling tests!

TheJawsThatBite Fri 16-Oct-15 11:09:07

I would ask both: Do you think self-confidence, and the belief that you can achieve what you set out to do, is the key to your success? Is it possible to succeed in life without self-belief?

moneypenny66 Tue 20-Oct-15 19:42:29

What can you do to stop girls thinking they are inferior to boys? My 6 year old niece keeps saying things like, ' I'm no good at that because I'm a girl'. I don't know where it's coming probably, but it seems such a shame for her to feel like that at such a young age.

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 21-Oct-15 10:53:30

Thank you for all your questions so far!

We will be posting the link to Davina's answers soon smile

popperdoodles Thu 22-Oct-15 14:21:55

I would like to ask about the way football managers speak to their teams. My 3 sons aged between 9 and 16 all play for local teams and the manager's shout and yell, call them lazy etc and I often think is this really the way to get the best out of children? I mean if you tell them they are rubbish enough times they will believe they are rubbish won't they? Do you think buckets of confidence boosting praise would get better results?

choccyp1g Thu 22-Oct-15 18:50:31

What do you think about "late starters" initiatives?
It seems to me that unless you start very young and shine there is no way in to getting reasonably good at a sport later on. My DS for example was small for his age but was invited to tennis academy, because he was very good in the after school club. As soon as the coach realised he was 2 years older than they assumed, and therefore could not win aged tournaments, he was more or less shunned, and totally lost his confidence.

derxa Thu 22-Oct-15 20:19:14

Thierry. How can British school children improve their football skills?

They're lagging behind.

derxa Thu 22-Oct-15 20:25:31

By the way I was a primary school teacher and PE Leader. I did football training etc. If I didn't coordinate it no one would have and when I left it fell to pieces. It breaks my heart.

Theimpossiblegirl Thu 22-Oct-15 20:49:41

What would you say to a child that thought they just weren't good enough? How can we boost their confidence so they will try new things?

CopperPan Thu 22-Oct-15 22:01:25

I'd like to ask how children can manage the commitment of a competitive sport when they're young, when so many of their friends will be out socialising or just relaxing while they're having to do long hours of training and competitions? I find it's especially hard during the teenage years.

GloriaHotcakes Thu 22-Oct-15 22:33:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Obs2015 Fri 23-Oct-15 07:19:12

Agree with previous poster - the competitiveness at such a young age is a concern. The local football teams at aged 5 are so competitive that only the best survive. My son was asked to leave and thus wasn't able to even train with all his mates. He sobbed.

Just starting secondary, he joined the debating society. I know this isn't sport related, but the improvement in his confidence is phenomenal.

EasterRobin Sat 24-Oct-15 14:53:54

Thierry, are there any differences we can learn from in the French approach to building confidence in children (or adults)?

WhataRacquet Sun 25-Oct-15 13:55:24

I want to ask Thierry how he had the confidence to pretend he didn't handball and knock Ireland out of the World Cup in 2010?? shamrock

ItStillLooksLikeRainDear Mon 26-Oct-15 00:09:33

Is there a defining moment in your childhood that gave you the drive to succeed?

VaseandCandle Mon 26-Oct-15 13:29:38

For Thierry - My son is only 2, but I believe that the way for him to excel in sport in the future is to experience losing and to not be afraid of it. It will make him bolder and braver to take risks. But losing is hard - what tips or experience can you give about dealing with losing?

DartmoorDoughnut Mon 26-Oct-15 13:32:46

How would you advise instilling confidence in DC without installing arrogance?

Lovewhereilive Tue 27-Oct-15 22:52:09

How do you give confidence to naturally shy children?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »