Helping Sports Kids Control Expectations
If you’ve done a great job instilling in your sports kids a sense of right and wrong, they may have problems with a coach who appears to pick favorites.
“Often, kids and parents alike will have perceived fairness issues, which can really take a toll on the kids’ confidence level,” says Mark Lawton, a teacher and longtime coach who has led numerous teams to the championship level.
Kids raise fairness issues about starting, playing time, and smaller things such as who they might sub in for or what position they might play, Lawton told us in a recent podcast interview.
These fairness issues can distract your sports children from the goal of the day: Playing sports!
Being distracted will undermine their focus, cause them to make mistakes, and hurt their confidence.
Sometimes a parent can become miffed about another child starting instead of their child, and this can throw a sports kid’s confidence off, he says.
“You really need to control their expectations,” says Lawton.
“Communicate to the kids and parents in advance. Tell them who is starting and when, tell them how much playing time everyone is getting, and be clear about what the kids can do to increase the importance of their role on the team. Coaches should only promise kids what they can give them,” he says.
Controlling expectations allows you to get ahead of any perceived fairness issues before they negatively affect your kids’ confidence, he says.
If you’re a parent who sees fairness problems on a team, be sure to talk to the coach. Ask the coach to be clear about his or her plans regarding starting, playing time and other issues.
Learn more by listening to the interview:
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!
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“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!”
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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…
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