Growing Confidence in Youth Sports
Can kids really grow their confidence in sports today, given that they have to deal with society’s pressure to excel, untrained and sometimes difficult coaches, bullies, and parents who are sometimes over-invested in winning?
That was the gist of a question we got yesterday from a 22-year-old student from the Columbia School of Journalism. She’s writing a piece about youth sports and is intrigued by the many challenges that young athletes face these days.
She also asked, “Is it better for kids to play sports and risk losing confidence (with bullies and bad coaches) than to not participate?” And: “Do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages in today’s youth sports scene?”
Here’s our answer: Yes, the benefits of taking part in youth sports outweigh the disadvantages. And yes, kids can enjoy sports in the face of many challenges–as we think it prepares them for life.
But kids are more likely to enjoy sports and thrive if they know how to take control of their confidence and stay mentally tough.
It’s true that many kids encounter adversity in youth sports. They may get little playing time, they may encounter bullies, or they may lose confidence from too much negative feedback from a coach.
But young athletes can learn from these experiences—and turn their lessons in sports into critical life skills.
However, they need to be given the tools and resources required to remain confident and mentally tough.
That’s where you, as parents and coaches, come in. You can help kids boost their confidence by, first of all, identifying the everyday mental game challenges they face.
Some typical challenges include:
- High expectations (“I need to make four 3-pointers and block five shots today”);
- Negative Labels (“I’m too skinny to play football”);
- “I Can’t” Statements (“I can’t score when I play against this team”),
- Goofy Beliefs (“I only score if I eat granola bars for breakfast or wear a red headband”) and…
- Doubt (Can I really make that shot?).
Confidence killers can sometimes come from outside sources–parents, coaches and peers–who give too much negative feedback.
Whatever the source, it’s important to teach kids how to handle these hurdles. Once they learn how to deal with these common problems, they’re much better equipped to tackle any kind of adversity–including high pressure, difficult coaches and bullies.
And how exactly do they learn how to overcome things like high expectations, negative labels and “I can’t” statements?
That’s where we come in…. Our new program, “The Confident Sports Kid: A 7-Day Plan for Building Ultimate Self-Confidence” helps kids remain confident in the face of challenges.
Our new program has been a hot seller. Why? First of all, it equips sports parents, coaches and sports kids with what they need to identify confidence busters.
Our CD and workbook program gives parents, coaches and sports kids step-by-step guidelines for tackling these confidence busters.
The Confident Sports Kid teaches young athletes age 8 to 18 how to improve their self talk, avoid negative thinking, overcome expectations that limit confidence, and much more.
Your kids learn how to be proactive instead of reactive with their confidence… This confidence can transfer from sports to life…
You can download the first chapter of the kids workbook here:
Here’s the latest from our readers:
“We just came back from a tournament overseas and our son was 12th in scoring out of 250 kids from around the world. He played consistently and confidently. He has brought himself to a whole new level. Not only is he showing more confidence, but now we have the confidence in what we are saying to him to know that we are helping him, not unknowingly hurting him. Thanks!”
P.S. Be sure to go to this page and download the “The Confident Sports Kid Assessment,” the first chapter of the kids workbook, to help your kids identify confidence busters:
Help Your Young Athletes Overcome Self-Doubt In Sports!
The Confident Sports Kid helps young athletes improve confidence quickly and overcome common confidence killers that destroy motivation and fun in sports!
This is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to boost young athletes’ performance, happiness and success… in sports and life!
The Confident Sports Kid program is actually two programs: one that teaches sports parents how to boost their kids’ confidence, and another that teaches young athletes age 8 to 12 how to improve their self talk, avoid negative thinking, overcome expectations that limit confidence, and much more.
What are parents and coaches saying?
“Each Race He Was More Calm, Composed, And Relaxed”
“I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful programs. My son Kai was one of the fastest 10 and under swimmers in Southern California and after he “aged up” to the 11-12 group he really lost confidence swimming against the much faster and bigger boys. He started with the Confident Sports Kids series and really enjoyed each and every lesson. He then started the Composed Kid series and built on the important building blocks that he was using from the first series. I so happy to report that Kai was able to swim to best times in each and every event he swam at the biggest and most important meet of the year in So Cal, the Club Championships. Each race he was more calm, composed, and relaxed. The final race was one that he was ranked last and one of his goals was to try for top 16…he was 49th! He cut over 4 seconds off his time ending up in 17th. He was ecstatic to say the least.”
Help Young Athletes Overcome Perfectionist Challenges in Sports!
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