“How to Win Wimbledon in Pajamas” Mary Nhin’s son, Kobe, began competing in tennis a couple of years ago and was winning most of his games… until he hit a cold streak. “He began going into super tiebreakers, a very short determining point system, and he would get very nervous, and he would end up losing,” says Nhin, the co-author, along with Kobe, of “How to Win the Wimbledon in … [Read more...] about Using Sports Psychology to Overcome a Cold Streak
Richard Burke, who has been coaching baseball, football and basketball for the last 12 years, recently told us how he used our Ultimate Sports Parent program to help a perfectionist pitcher. “I had a 10-year-old pitcher playing on an 11-year-old travel team. He was doing really well, but once I got to know him I found out he was very much a perfectionist,” Burke said. “From time to … [Read more...] about How One Coach Helped a Perfectionist Athlete
Comparisons Hurt Athletes’ Confidence When we surveyed parents, we found that 23% said that kids judge how their teammates are performing instead of focusing on their own play. Focusing on others’ play will distract your young athletes from their own game, and can become a major confidence killer. In the survey, parents said that kids compare themselves when they have friends who are … [Read more...] about How to Avoid Comparison Trap for Sports Parents
How to Help Athletes be Relaxed before a Game Parents want to know what to tell their athletes before a game that will help them perform well and feel less pressure… For example, parents say: *Do you coach your kids on what to do? *Do you let them mentally prepare on their own? *Do you wait for them to talk about the game before saying anything? Just before a game, you want to … [Read more...] about Important Dos and Don’ts for Sports Parents Before Games
Athletes' Acceptance of Mental Training Often, young athletes don’t understand the benefits of mental game training. They say they’re already mentally strong. Or they’re afraid that they’ll have to sit on a couch and reveal their innermost vulnerabilities. Mostly, they don’t understand what mental game training is--or its benefits. To help sports kids embrace the benefits, let them hear … [Read more...] about Why Young Athletes Avoid Mental Training
Young Athletes who are Perfectionist "I have a son, age 15. He is skilled in many sports at school. Rugby, Hockey, XC running and Athletics (sprint and long jump where he holds the school record in both these)." "When he makes a mistake he can ‘lose’ it and can be seen to ‘give in’. In team sport it could be that he thinks he didn’t make that tackle and should have, his head can go down and … [Read more...] about The Expectations Trap for Perfectionists
How to Keep Athletes in the Game A sports parent asks: “My son is a HS freshman with huge potential in football but is not wanting to pursue it, he says he does not feel ‘passionate’ about it, even after being told by a few retired coaches and refs that he could definitely get a scholarship. He's saying that he doesn't want to play football now and I think he is wasting huge potential. I … [Read more...] about Parents: Are Your Athletes Having Fun?
How to Focus on The Fun in Youth Sports A sports mom wrote: "My son is 8 years old and has been playing hockey since he was 4. He has been on the “travel” team for two years now... He loves to play but has absolutely no drive to win. I do not know how to change his mentality to understand that sports are not just for enjoyment but are also to be won, especially team sports." The parents of … [Read more...] about Parents: Do You Want Kids to Have Fun or Perform Well?
Why Do Young Athletes Fear Failure? A sports parent asks: "Our 12-year-old son is having challenges in baseball. He is playing not to make mistakes and seems to have lost his aggression and effectiveness. He is also the smallest, youngest kid on the team. What tips might you have for him?" When kids play to avoid mistakes, they’re struggling with fear of failure in which they often worry about … [Read more...] about When Athletes Play to Not Make Mistakes
How to Encourage Sports Kids to Stay in Sports It's important for sports parents to drop the sports fan mindset when watching their kids perform, said Bob Katz, a journalist, former sports dad and author of the kids' book "EZ and the Intangibles” in a recent interview. "We are a nation of sports fans," said Katz. "We tend to be sports crazed." Katz argues that the informality and fun integral to … [Read more...] about Why Sports Parents Should Drop the Sports Fan Mindset