Building Your Child’s Confidence Through Sports
Abby Wambach, two-time Olympic gold medalist and Women’s World Cup Champion, has some great insights into the world of sports parenting that illustrate the lessons we try to instill in parents.
In a recent article with the Washington Post, she described growing up as a soccer star and how she now sees youth sports from a parent’s perspective…
“The superstar never felt pure love for the game, and nearly quit at age 14 to escape the pressure,” the article says. “She talked about how playing sports, though, taught her resilience, and she’s grateful for that lesson.”
“We think it’s our job to help our children avoid fires, but we need to walk them into the fires to show them they’re fireproof,” Wambach told the Washington Post.
“That to me is everything — teaching kids that they can handle anything life throws at them, the good and the bad. Kids need to learn that they are capable of handling life on life’s terms.”
This is one of our key concepts:
Building your children’s confidence step-by- step so that they can believe in themselves.
Wambach stresses that sports is a learning tool that should be useful to everyone, not just the people possibly going pro.
“Sports provide all kinds of opportunities to grow as a human being,” she says. “Parents go wrong by focusing too much on winning. The process is what will translate beyond soccer.”
We agree 100 percent with Wambach…
Your kids need to focus on the process instead of the results and statistics.
Result-driven kids and sports parents stand in the way of kids’ growth as athletes–losing is perceived as failure, not an opportunity to improve.
Here at Kids’ Sports Psychology and the Ultimate Sports Parent, we encourage kids and parents to concentrate on the process of playing or performing, as Wambach suggests.
That means taking it one shot, one touch, or one play at a time. That means thinking about daily mini-goals, such as doing a good job on defense.
As kids learn to be “in the moment,” their confidence improves and they transfer important life skills to other areas of their lives. They learn how to handle “anything life throws at them,” as Wambach says.
If you’d like to learn more about how to help sports kids prepare mentally for games—and focus on the here-and-now, not on the score or win—be sure to check out our latest program, “10-Minute Pregame Prep,” here:
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!
Sign up for our free report to receive weekly emails and tips:
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