Over the past two weeks I attended a course run by Isobel MacNaughtan on behalf of the Centre for Confidence & Wellbeing. The course was called Communicating with Confidence and was essentially Assertiveness training for young people. I enjoyed the course, learned some new information and approaches and I look forward to beginning to put the learning into practice tomorrow with construction apprentices in Motherwell.

That has set me to thinking again about confidence in Scotland. On Saturday I watched the Scottish football team beating Ukraine 3-1 in Glasgow. Last month I was in Paris to see Scotland beat France 1-0 in the same competition. They also beat France by the same scoreline a year ago. Part of the secret of the Scottish team is their renewed confidence which comes partly from a good coaching team and partly from winning.

It was strange for me before Saturday’s game, however. I spoke to my son and a younger friend on our way to the game. Both were quite pessimistic, in fact worried was the word they used. Why? The team has shown it can beat the second-best team in the world. That doesn’t mean that they will win every game but the days of them going out to lose are gone, at least for now. The players themselves admit that some of their inspiration comes from the passionate support of the fans. If the fans will only believe, the team will do better. And the better performances of the team will translate to the fans. My only worry is that I think that this confidence is still fragile and may need only one poor game to break it.

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