How Do Superstitions Hurt Performance?
You’ve heard kids say things like, “I need to wear my blue striped boxers under my uniform at the game today in order to do well; that’s what I wore last time we won.”
Or, “I have to eat chocolate chip pancakes before my game today; that’s what I ate last time I was the top scorer.”
Most kids harbor these kinds of ideas. But truth is, such ideas are irrational superstitions—and they often undermine kids’ performance and confidence.
When kids harbor goofy or irrational beliefs, they assume that something that happened once will happen over and over.
But what happens when they wear their blue-striped boxers over and over, and keep losing? Kids lose confidence.
You can boost young athletes’ confidence by helping them identify such beliefs, and explain that these thoughts often work against sports kids—not for them.
What’s more, don’t feed such superstitions by suggesting that they wear their blue-striped boxers every game!
After you’ve helped kids identify such beliefs, ask them to replace these superstitions with positive routines.
Instead of kids’ relying on superstitions, suggest that, before a game, kids remind themselves of their talents in sports, focus on the process, and let go of expectations.
Pregame routines are based on science, superstitions are based on luck.
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Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!
Do your young athletes:
- Criticize themselves often after making mistakes?
- Freeze up and look scared when faced with competitive pressure?
- Lose confidence after working with a negative coach?
- Perform like stars in practice but freeze up or play tentatively during games or competitions?
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