Do Young Athletes Have Mental Blocks?
A sports parent says:
“I have a 12-year-old son who is having major mental blocks as it comes to baseball. He feels the pressure to live up to the hype of making it to the World Series. His pitching has improved tremendously however in today’s game he walked the first batter and felt the last ball was a strike and he was done mentally. It went from bad to worse and it also affected his hitting where he struck out twice.”
“We have a critical game this Tuesday against a team he let it get the best of him and we lost due to lack of confidence and with everyone telling him you have to win this game or we are out of the running for first place. Nothing I say is right. He blames himself for today’s loss. He says he can’t pitch or hit anymore and its terrible. Please help. Thanks.”
~Angie, Sports Parent
Here, we have the classic example of a perfectionist… He expects that he will lead his team to the World Series Championship!
This expectation is causing him an undue amount of stress and is likely hurting his performance. Leading to tanking: Inability to think clearly and giving up.
However, here’s the good news: The parent understands that the problem is the boy’s expectations.
Identifying the mental game issue is always the first step when dealing with sports children who are having confidence issues. The root of the issue often lies in a belief about how athletes think they should perform.
Expectations are unwritten demands your athletes have about their performance. Problems arise when they fail to meet these demands and in response get frustrated and then lose confidence in their game.
When they become frustrated and distracted, they are bound to make more mistakes, compounding the negative effect and creating a very unhealthy cycle.
Ask yourself this question:
What messages are my sports children receiving from me about my expectations for their performance?
Often, sports kids take on their parents’ expectations, even when their parents don’t intentionally want to impose these expectations. Be careful what you say around your sports kids.
Don’t put undue expectations on them, even if you’re trying to be positive: “You could have scored 30 points tonight!”
Such statements impose a results-oriented expectation in your sports kids’ minds, which distracts them from focusing on what they need to do in the here-and-now.
Instead of discussing results, focus on mini-goals. Sports kids need to focus on being in the moment, concentrating on playing hard on defense, or being good team players, or making quality passes.
Learn more about perfectionists by checking out our program, “Help Young Athletes Kick Perfectionism and Fear of Failure” here:
Help Young Athletes Overcome Perfectionist Challenges in Sports!
Nearly every athlete struggles with some form of perfectionism or fear of failure.
Kids who look like stars in practice will often choke up or under perform during games or competition. Other athletes expect too much of themselves—then get frustrated when they don’t meet their high expectations. Or they’re extremely hard on themselves.
In all cases, this causes young athletes to play it safe. They refuse to take the important risks that help them excel and improve their confidence. Suddenly, they’re held back by fear, indecision, and hesitation.
Learn how to help young athletes overcome the difficult cycle of perfectionism, fear of failure and loss of confidence. You can stop guessing about what to do and say to your athlete!
Our program: “Sports Parents’ Top Dilemma: Helping Young Athletes Kick Perfectionism and Fear of Failure,” will walk you through the problem and arm you with practical solutions you can start implementing today.
You’ll start seeing changes in your young athlete’s confidence almost immediately.
Make your role as sports parent more enjoyable and easier! We tell you how to help your young athletes:
- Let go of mistakes more quickly
- Perform more freely
- Dramatically improve their performance and attitude in sports
- Stop criticizing themselves
- Accept feedback better
- Think more creatively
- Stop worrying about what others’ think
- Improve their confidence in sports
- They, too, will have more fun and reap more rewards.
“Sports Parents’ Top Dilemma: Helping Young Athletes Kick Perfectionism and Fear of Failure,” consists of two parts:
- A 21-page kids’ sports psychology workbook that is intended to help your kids identify beliefs and expectations that are the root of perfectionism. It will also help them develop strategies to play more freely with less fear in competition.
- A 23-page e-book that identifies the challenge, explains why it is harmful to young athletes (but also very common), and gives in-depth, step-by-step “sports psychology” tips for helping kids. Download this instantly!
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 fail to take charge of their confidence before the compete
- They feel pressure to excel from expectations they feel from others
- They worry too much about what others think about their performance
- They interpret pregame jitters as harmful to their performance
- They focus too much on the outcome instead of the process
- They tighten up and play safe when they feel pressure to succeed
- 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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