Helping Young Athletes Unlock Their Performance
A sports parent asks:
“I have a son who is a junior baseball player. To watch him warm up and practice, he looks the part and has already got some small college offers. He fits your description of a perfectionist and therefore lacks confidence. He has had multiple injuries and his latest I feel like may be little of a crutch due to fear of failing in front of coaches and scouts. Any suggestions?”
Most sports kids who have some perfectionism often worry about what others think about them.
This becomes a problem for many young athletes who rely on what they think others believe about them to boost their self-confidence or even self-worth.
They couple their value as a person too closely with what others think of their athletic ability or performance. This need for social approval is another HUGE source of pressure on your sports kids, and can be as mentally debilitating as any type of pressure.
If your children are especially sensitive to social approval, help them identify and discuss their feelings and worries.
If your children get discouraged when they are not praised, get embarrassed when they make a mistake, or easily get down when someone offers suggestions about their play, they need to work on how their need for social approval affects their thinking and performance.
Some signs your child may be too worried about what others think are:
- They perform tentatively and are afraid to make mistakes or take risks.
- They appear distracted by what others are doing around them.
- They make comparisons to other people.
- They spend too much time thinking about what others think about them.
It’s critical to teach your young athletes that self-esteem should not be based on their level of performance or winning. Help them define their self-concept.
What is their view of themselves, separate from sports? Help them separate the two and identify their positive characteristics outside of sports.
One way to do this is to get your hands on our “Ultimate Sports Parent” workbook, which has a section on how to help kids separate their self-worth from their performance. It also focuses on helping sports kids who worry about what others think:
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?
If so, check out The Ultimate Sports Parent!
The Ultimate Sports Parent will teach you powerful mental toughness secrets to improve your child’s success in sports.
Get proven strategies form leading youth sports experts!
What are sports parents saying about our mental training program?
“We really enjoy your emails and are grateful that we found your web site. It is so needed. There really isn’t much out there to guide parents. Thank you for your work. And yes, we have passed on your web site to numerous parents.”
~Debbie and Peter Cooney
“After listening to your podcasts and reading your free e-book, most of the challenges apply to my 14-year-old son. He’s got all the physical ability, but unsure of himself in games. He has a difficult time rebounding from errors, the screaming coach on the side, along with his uncle in the stands probably doesn’t help his confidence. So reading and listening to your information has been so helpful and validates what I have observed in him for the past few months. Thank you so much!”
~Brenda Felder, Everett, WA
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 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
- 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
“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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