Communicating With Young Athletes Is Key To Success

When Athletes Worry About Being Judged

Clear Communication With Young Athletes

A number of parents and coaches ask: What’s the best way to communicate with my young athletes?

Clearly, communicating with your young athletes is critical.

You want to stay in close communication for a number of reasons.

–They may be unhappy with their coaches.
–They may be bullied.
–They may not be happy playing the position they’re playing in and are afraid to speak up.

First of all, if you want your child to trust you enough to keep the lines of communication open, you have to strike a balance between being under-involved and over-involved.

You’ll know you’re over-involved if you find yourself yelling on the sidelines or getting upset with a ref’s call… You’re under-involved if you don’t go to games or help out at times at games or practices.

Once you’ve expressed the appropriate amount of interest in your kids’ sports, be sure to keep the lines of communication open. You do this by being as positive as possible and reminding your sports kids that you’re there for them.

For example, let’s say they have a bad game. They come to you and complain. You can either criticize them for goofing up—or you can point out what they did well. Be sure to point out what they did well!

If kids complain that they’re being bullied, take the complaint very seriously. Listen and try to understand how they feel. Bullying can cause kids to drop out of sports. Assure your kids that this is serious and you will take action to help them.

What if your kids feel like they’re not as good as their friends on the team?

Again, your job is to listen and be as positive as possible. Remind your kids what they’re good at—whether it’s team work, communication, or being a great sport. You want to help boost their confidence and not hurt it.

Get the picture? Be available to talk, be a good listener, and stay positive… Let your kids know that it’s okay to express their feelings about sports—and listen without interrupting or telling them they shouldn’t feel this way.

Want to learn more about how to communicate well with your sports kids?

We’ve got a great program for you, “The Ultimate Sports Parent,” which not only teaches you communication skills, but helps you address classic youth sports challenges.

*Subscribe to The Sports Psychology Podcast on iTunes
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Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!

The Ultimate Sports Parent

Every day, we receive letters from parents like you who want their children and teens to excel in sports. However, these parents can see fear, doubt, and frustration on the faces of their kids who struggle with the “inner” game of sports. But these parents have no idea how to help their kids overcome the worries, expectations and self-defeating thoughts that prevent their young athletes from feeling confident and successful.

You can benefit from our 15-plus years’ of work in sports psychology and sports parenting research. Now, you can tap into our secrets to sports success through a cutting-edge, 14-day program that helps young athletes overcome the top “mental game” challenges that sports parents face—and the top challenges young athletes face.

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