Boosting Confidence in Young Athletes
A young athlete writes:
“I am a badminton player and I am finding it really hard to not get shaky or lose confidence when in a game if I miss a shot, my coach keeps telling me that I am I good player and I should believe in myself but then I just get more worried because I know she is watching me. Please help!”
This type of confidence issue is common for sports children…
In this case, it sounds like the young athlete is experiencing fear of failure due to a need for social approval, particularly from the coach.
When sports kids are afraid of what others may say or do if their performance is not perfect, they’re seeking social approval. They want teammates and coaches to feel good about them.
When kids think others expect perfection from them, small failures are unacceptable to them. When they do mess up, they can’t take their minds off mistakes and worries about what others think.
The first thing you and your sports children need to do is identify what the child is worrying about.
Help kids stop worrying about what others think by asking a few questions:
“Does it really matter in the big picture if you miss a shot, or lose a single game?”
Question the rationality of the fear…
“Do you think your coach really expects you not to make a mistake?”
Make sure they can recognize this faulty thinking and refocus on the task of playing the game.
Next, encourage kids to focus on the process of playing. For example, tell them to focus on making great shots or being great team players.
If they can take their minds off what others think, and focus on making one shot, one at a time, they’ll feel more confident.
Check out our latest product, “10-Minute Pregame Prep,” for more tips about boosting confidence!
Learn Mental Game Lessons to Help Young Athletes With Their Pregame Prep!
Young athletes and their parents and coaches tell us that sports kids often struggle with these pregame mental game challenges:
- They feel pressure to excel from expectations they feel from others.
- They focus too much on the outcome instead of the process.
- They worry too much about what others think about their performance.
- They tighten up and play safe when they feel pressure to succeed.
- They interpret pregame jitters as harmful to their performance.
- They fail to take charge of their confidence before the compete.
- They don’t trust in their skills when they go from practice to competition.
- They hang on to mistakes and dwell in them in competition.
“10 Minute Pregame Prep” will tell you everything you need to know about ensuring your sports kids avoid classic mental game pitfalls before a game, learn how to trust their instincts, and just go for it. It provides lots of advice for you, too…
With our program, you can stop wondering what to do and relax before your kids’ games!
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