Fear of Failure in Sports Kids
Courtney Johnson, a former silver Olympic medalist who is now a sports parent, says parents can predict what kind of mental game issues their kids will experience in sports-if they simply pay attention.
And they need to pay attention, she says. Mental toughness is critical in sports, as kids start getting involved at younger and younger ages.
“As parents, you have to know your children and their strengths. If they have problems in one area of their lives, you’ll see it in sports.”
For example, Johnson has children who are perfectionists, who fear failure, and who compare themselves to others-all confidence busters in sports!
She sees these qualities in their everyday lives.
As a former top-level athlete who has had mental-toughness training, she deals with many of these issues by helping her kids adjust their goals.
For example, her oldest experiences fear of failure. He has a hard time applying himself. “If he can’t get it right the first time, he will rather not try than fail. We have to constantly adjust his goals.”
Her son needs to work on things he doesn’t like to do. So Johnson gives him one small goal to work on, and has him focus on just that goal.
The aim is to have him improve in that area, experience success, and realize the work was worth it. That builds his confidence.
Johnson offers many great tips in our interview with her, which is available to exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology here:
To listen to the first half of this interview, use the player below:
At Kids’ Sports Psychology, you’ll also find loads of articles, e-books, interviews, videos and other resources that will help you boost your kids’ confidence in sports and improve their performance.
During our interview, we discovered that Johnson is a big fan of our resources. Here’s what she had to say:
“I love your website. I love everything I’ve gotten on it. Mental toughness is really important in sports. As kids get younger and younger and more involved in sports, they need tactics for dealing with all these pressures.”
Check out Kids’ Sports Psycholgoy today!
P.S. Johnson’s interview is packed with great information. Members of Kids’ Sports Psychology can listen here:
P.S. Goals and focus are critical to building kids’ confidence. Be sure to check out our program for helping kids boost their focus:
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The Focused Sports Kid program is actually two programs: one for sports parents/coaches that provides mental game tips especially designed for parents and coaches, and for young athletes, ages 8 to 12, that will walk them through 7 simple lessons in mental focus in sports.
What are parents and coaches saying?
“I read your report and prepared a one-page summary for my team. I asked the team to attend a 10am training session on Saturday before the final on Sunday. (I told parents) they must obtain the one-page summary handout from me and ask a parent to read it to them until they understood what it meant…My boys succeeded! We beat a team that no one could beat during the year, that was coached by a former professional player that had sons of former Professional players in the team and as a result of believing in themselves, they won. In my humble opinion , I look beyond the game and hope the kids have learned a lesson in life that you really can do almost anything if you put your mind to it. We salute you and the wonderful work you do.”
~Anthony (Tony) Costa, coach
“We just completed the first ten tips, it has helped tremendously for (our daughter) and us. We’ve learned to keep our behavior and comments in check. She’s letting mistakes happen and not worrying about them, she’s now just moves on to the next play with the same attitude as before the mistakes. She’s playing more aggressively all game. Her coach even mentioned that whatever we are doing, keep doing because it’s working.”
~Scott, Sports Dad
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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?
“My wife and I immediately applied your tips and luckily we got a fast response. Our 16-year-old daughter reads like a case study for lack of confidence. She matches the profile your e-book describes: high technical ability and successful in soccer practice but looks like she forgets how to play in games!”
~Glenn G. New Jersey
“After listening to a couple of your podcasts and reading your “10 tips to confidence in youth sports,” most of the challenges you make note of apply to my 14-year-old son. He’s got all the physical ability, but the more mistakes he makes, the worse it seems to get. 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