Do Your Young Athletes Feel Satisfied after a Game?

Learn to Play “Under The Circumstances”

Do your kids feel devastated after a loss? Some kids don’t feel satisfied in sports unless they win.

They need to understand that numerous factors are outside their control when it comes to winning. These include the weather, teammates’ decisions and calls from the ref.

If they only feel satisfied when they win, they’ll always be riding an emotional roller coaster.

Help them understand what they can control–focus and effort. These two issues impact satisfaction. The more effort and focus kids invest in training, the more satisfied they’ll feel.

For kids, it hurts to lose but it hurts less if they know they invested all their energy. Focusing solely on statistics and wins won’t help kids feel satisfied.

Young athletes should ask themselves if they gave their best under the circumstances. Did they focus as well as possible under the circumstances? “Under the circumstances” is important here. They may have been dealing with teammates who didn’t play due to sickness, bad weather, backed up traffic that made them late for warmup and lots of other uncontrollable issues.

The Cleveland Indians found themselves dealing with the sting of defeat and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2015, despite having over 90 wins.

The Indians were eliminated from reaching the playoffs after losing to the Washington Nationals in the final series of the regular season.

The Indians fought hard through 160 games to put themselves in playoff position but the loss was a tremendous disappointment for the coaches and players.

After the loss, Cleveland Indians outfielder Oscar Mercado talked about both the disappointment and how he is dealing with the loss after giving their best effort.

MERCADO: “We did the best we could, and sometimes things happen, and you’ve got to accept that and move on. Obviously, we’re not going to say we’re content, because the ultimate goal here is to win and be in the playoffs. But we just have to accept it and understand that we did the best we could and be able to sleep at night knowing that.”

Help Young Athletes Assess Effort

Young athletes, too, need to be able to feel satisfied that they did their best. They can assess how much effort they invested with this exercise:

Kids should create a performance log.

After each practice or competition, they should rate their level of effort on a scale of 1 to 10 and their level of focus on a scale of 1 to 10.

Athletes should write their thoughts about how they performed, such as things they did well or things they should work on in the future. They should avoid criticizing themselves.

Next, they should set small practice goals for the week.

Focusing well, giving their all and setting small goals all help kids feel more satisfied and happy in sports even if they experience a loss.

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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.

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