Kids Who Fail to Perform Well in Competition
A sports grandparent says,
“I have a 10-year-old grandson who plays little league baseball. When he started playing at 8 years old he was very aggressive and very good at making contact with the baseball.
The last two years his confidence has decreased…stepping out of the batter’s box instead of stepping toward the pitcher. At home and in practice he crushes the ball. How can I help him take his confidence from practice to games?”
In this situation, sports parents (and grandparents) need to begin by finding out what is undermining their sports kids’ confidence. Some reasons might include recent under performance, doubt, trying to hard, or negative thoughts and distractions.
In this case, the fact that this young athlete is still performing well in practice suggests that he may be having issues performing in front of crowds or when he feels pressure in games.
Ask your athletes if they expect to be perfect in games. Do they have any self-doubt about their performance or if they worry about making mistakes.
Find out if kids are comparing themselves to teammates or opponents who have been more successful recently. Are they worried about what people may be thinking? Such challenges will hurt their performance.
Next, help kids focus on proactive confidence or taking control of their confidence level.
What does confidence feels like to them while batting? What do they concentrate on? How does their performance feel?
If kids are still performing well – and with confidence – in practice, what feels different in games? How does hitting the ball in games change for kids, and what are what changes with their thinking?
Finally, help kids focus on their belief in their skills, instead of on results or getting hits.
Athletes like this know they are good hitters because they can hit in practice! Consider having kids list their strengths and skills during their best moments. Have them review the list before games.
And parents, avoid focusing on what your kids are doing wrong in games as you don’t want them to think they must be perfect and avoid mistakes!
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 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 feel pressure to excel from expectations they feel from others
- They focus too much on the outcome instead of the process
- 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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