Do Your Athletes Have Pregame Jitters or Performance Anxiety?

Athletes and Hypnotherapy

Helping Sports Kids Overcome Pregame Anxiety

Just before a game, your kids may say they’re feeling jittery and will look distracted, over-excited and tense. They may have sweaty palms and a pounding heart.

In many cases, such feelings are pregame jitters or “butterflies” that actually help kids perform better. These feelings tend to subside once kids play for a few minutes.

In other cases, however, young athletes may be experiencing performance anxiety.

When kids mistakenly interpret jitters as performance anxiety or fear, they may feel unnecessarily uptight. But in reality, nothing may be wrong; their natural adrenaline is kicking in because they are excited about the upcoming competition.

As parents, you don’t want to suggest that the jitters are a problem for their performance, or that they need to do something to make them go away.

Help sports kids embrace the natural feelings of anticipating competing.

These pregame reactions can help them perform at a higher level. You might say things like, “Those jitters will give you extra energy and help you play better today.”

However, if kids’ jittery feelings, sweaty palms and racing heart continue throughout the game, they may be experiencing performance anxiety

If they’re scared, feel sick to their stomachs, can’t think clearly, are worried about what may happen during the game, can’t relax and can’t shake their fears and anxieties during the game, performance anxiety may be the reason.

In this case, kids need to learn how to address the fears that are behind their anxiety. And you as parents and coaches need to understand that you should not fuel their anxiety. That means you should not burden kids with high expectations and should avoid focusing on the score, kids’ stats, or the win.

You might also think about whether your kids feel embarrassed when you shout or argue with refs and coaches from the sidelines. This can be a major source of anxiety for young athletes.

If you’d like to learn more about pregame jitters, performance anxiety and other pre-performance mental game issues, we’ve got a great program for you. It’s called “10-Minute Pregame Prep,” and it features a series of 10-minute audios that your athletes can listen to just before a game.

*Subscribe to The Sports Psychology Podcast on iTunes
*Subscribe to The Sports Psychology Podcast on Spotify

Improve Your Mental Game From Anywhere In The World

We’re certain that, as a parent, you want to help your child develop confidence and discipline in sports and life. And as a sports parent, you’d love for your children to reach their potential in sports. But encouraging your child to strive for greatness without pressuring them can be a challenge.

You can get expert mental coaching with us from anywhere. Meet with us via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or phone call. With today’s video technology, we are able to connect with athletes and coaches all over the globe.

Call Us Today to Schedule Your Free 15-Minute Session.
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