Helping Young Athletes Move on After Mistakes
A sport parent asks:
“My kids keep hearing that they are supposed to aim for a game without mistakes, but to expect that mistakes are going to happen nonetheless. They ask me if it is possible though, to actually have a game with zero mistakes?”
Telling your young athletes they are bound to makes mistakes and need to learn how to accept mistakes is great advice. As humans, they WILL make mistakes, no doubt about it.
The ability to cope with mistakes is one of the most important mental skills for athletes. When young athletes make mistakes, they often have trouble accepting them, which can lead to frustration and giving up.
These athletes get down on themselves, they lose focus. Their confidence starts waning. These are all signs of perfectionism, which is a huge issue in youth sports.
If your children are perfectionists they’ll have trouble coping with mistakes. They will think, like the person who asked this question, that mistakes can be avoided and should be avoided at all costs.
The reality is: Humans make mistakes and they are part of sports.
When perfectionists start making mistakes, it can trigger frustration, hurt confidence and derail their play.
Remember, while it may be mathematically plausible to have a game with “zero mistakes,” the chances of it happening are small, and more importantly, completely subjective.
A game with zero mistakes to one player may not be a game with zero mistakes to a coach or teammates.
Because of these perfectionist issues, it is important to teach kids that it’s okay to make mistakes mistakes. You want them to learn from their mistakes, not lament over them.
Let’s say your children are playing basketball, and they make a turnover. They might say to themselves, “How did I make that mistake! I can’t make mistakes!” They might start playing to avoid more mistakes too!
On the other hand, they might turn the ball over and then tell themselves, “Whoops, now let’s play defense.”
You want athletes to move on to the next play of the game, not allowing one mistake to affect their composure and focus.
Also, mistakes are an opportunity for athletes to improve in the next practice–they identify what to work on.
Learn more about how to help young athletes let go of mistakes and stay composed with “The Composed Sports Kid“:
Help Your Young Athletes Let go of Mistakes and Cope With Frustration!
Do you feel sick and tired of or even embarrassed about your athletes’ tantrums, crying, and lack of emotional control in competition? Do you scratch your head and wonder why your kids shut down or act like The Incredible Hulk after they make just one mistake that no one notices?
If so, learn more about The Composed Sports Kid.
This is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to learn composure-boosting lessons!
The Composed Sports Kid system is really two programs in one–one program to train parents and coaches how to help their kids practice composure, and one program that teaches young athletes (ages 8-12) how to improve composure, let go of mistakes quickly, have more self-acceptance, and thus enjoy sports more!
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~ Sports Parent
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~ Debbie and Peter Cooney
“I use your tips to help a sophomore high school student athlete. Last night, after I gave him some of your email tips – relax, get in the flow of the game, have fun, play by instinct, etc. – He busted loose for a career high 20 points and 15 rebounds!”
~ Bob Heidkamp
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Help Young Athletes Overcome Perfectionist Challenges in Sports!
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.
The Sports Parents’ Top Dilemma is a two part program. It includes:
- A 23 page E-book that identifies the challenge, explains why it is harmful to young athletes and gives step-by-stop sports psychology tips for helping kids.
- A 21 page kids’ sports psychology workbook that is intended to help you kids identify beliefs and expectations that are the root of perfectionism.
Now you can learn how to help young athletes overcome the difficult cycle of perfectionism, fear of failure and loss of confidence!
What are parents saying?
“I think the material on your web site and the communications I receive are excellent. I find the advice practical and the topics that are discussed, very relevant to my own experiences. I feel very happy with my purchase of the Ultimate Sports Parent Program. Your materials are top class. I will continue to study them.”
~David Wormald, Sports Parent
“I just listened to ‘The Ultimate Sports Parent Program‘ on a drive back from North Carolina. Every parent should be required to listen to it! I thought it was great. Thank you.”
~Rita, Sports Parent
“I recently purchased The Composed Sports Kid CD program for my son Jonathan who is 10. He is a skilled soccer player that was having issues with loss of control on occasion during games. He has really benefited from the program. He carries himself much better these days and even talks about his composure after the game to me before talking about the goals that he scores.”*
~Dave, Sports Parent
“Kids’ Sports Psychology is quite a find. It’s a treasure trove of practical, insightful information presented in an organized, simple format that is so easy to use. It is exactly what I was looking for to help my daughter succeed in competition, as much as she succeeds during practice. Additionally, these concepts can be applied to all areas of her life and, as her parent, I can’t stress enough how important it is to me, that she develop confidence, and how valuable this resource is to that end. Thank you so much!“*