Parents and coaches, if you want your sports kids to understand that mental training can be the key to unlocking their potential, first you have to know why kids avoid it…
It’s important for you to know that a whopping 53% of the coaches we surveyed said their sports kids resist mental training.
The truth is, improving their mental game skills can boost kids’ confidence in ways that improve their happiness and performance—in and out of sports.
For example, mentally tough and confident athletes don’t balk after making mistakes. They hang in there and focus on the next play, pitch, race or routine.
But here’s the problem: Sports kids believe a number of myths—silly myths, really—about the value of mental training. Here are just a few:
–> Kids think they are already mentally tough.
But even kids who are mentally tough can find ways to improve their game. For example, do they excel in practice, but freeze up during games? Do they worry about what others think of them?
With mental training, players, parents and coaches can identify common confidence busters, see if their sports kids suffer from them, and take steps to address them.
But if kids won’t participate, they won’t learn about the many mental game issues that affect young athletes. Encourage them to just give mental training a try!
–> Kids says that their coaches don’t value mental training—so either should they.
Not every coach focuses on mental training. Some have strengths in other areas. Or some provide mental training intuitively, but don’t call it this name.
They might say, “I know you tend to freeze up when your parents walk into practice. You need to focus on what you’re doing, instead of what’s going on off the court.” If they say this, they’re giving a mental game tip.
If your kids’ coach either doesn’t embrace sports psychology or uses his or her own language to impart some of these messages, you might refer the coach to Kids’ Sports Psychology.
You could say something like, “Hey, there’s this website out there that teaches kids, coaches and parents how to help kids get their head in the game so that they perform better. You should check it out.”
Want to learn more about how to help kids embrace mental training, boost their confidence, and make the most of their physical skills?
At Kids’ Sports Psychology, that’s just what we do. Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology have access, for example, to an eBook, “Help Young Athletes Embrace Mental Training,” located here:
What’s more, they have exclusive access to many, many, e-books, audios, videos, articles Q-and-As, plus two of our most popular programs—about bullying and perfectionism—for free.
Here’s what people say about our resources:
“I really do encourage your work. It’s great to see people trying to help kids see things from the mental side of the game and how important that is.”
~Kirk Mango, former Division I gymnast and longtime youth coach
Help your young athletes improve their mental game, their performance and their enjoyment of sports!
Lisa Cohn and Patrick Cohn, Ph.D
P.S. Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology can get additional tips for encouraging kids to embrace mental training right here: