Helping Sports Parents Get on The Same Page With Athletes
A sports parent asks:
“I would like to know how to face the challenge of competing parent interests. My x-husband and I seem to want very different things from our children’s experience with sports.”
Parents who communicate different ideas to their children can make their sports kids confused, hurt their performance, and take the fun out of the game.
When parents send conflicting messages to their children, the children do not know who to listen to or try to appease both parents.
They will struggle to decide which parent to listen to, knowing they will be taking sides if they chose one. They may fear loss of support if they shun what one parent says over the other.
Conflicting messages provide children with something worse than a bad game plan: No game plan. Without being sure of where to put their energy, sports kids will overthink their performance and lose confidence.
If this behavior goes on, the game will cease to be fun for your children. With two separate voices telling your children where to focus their energy, they won’t be able to chose one.
If you struggle with competing parent interests, here’s what to do…
Communicate with the other parent.
The message your children receive has to be coordinated in order to give the child a building block in sports; a clear goal.
Find mutual goals for both you and your spouse.
If your children are young, this goal can simply be to play as hard as they can or have as much fun as they can.
If they are a little older, you can set something small and tangible, such as getting six rebounds in a basketball game or getting five interceptions in a soccer game.
If you as parents can not agree on a message or goals to communicate to your children, it may be best to rely on what your children wants out of sport.
If you can have an honest discussion with your child about their participation in sport, this may guide you in developing consistent messages for your athlete.
Keep in mind that kids want to make their parents happy and they may sit the fence when you discuss their goals in sports.
Or your athletes may want to make sports-minded parents happy about their goals in sports.
Help your kids focus their best before and during competition with out new program for young athletes:
Young athletes, 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 worry too much about what others think about their performance.
- They hang on to mistakes and dwell in them in competition.
- 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 focus too much on the outcome instead of the process.
- They tighten up and play safe when they feel pressure to succeed.
“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…
Parents ask us:
“I am more nervous than my son before games. How do I as a parent stay calm and not show I am nervous before games?”
“My challenge is not to talk too much about the upcoming games or what they need to do. I want to psych him up and encourage him but don’t want him to feel that he has to perform perfectly.”
“How do I support my athlete without putting more pressure on him?”