How to Help Kids Focus Before a Game

Youth Sports Psychology

What to Tell Sports Kids Before a Game

A parent asks, “Can you tell me two simple things to tell my sports kid before a game that will help him and not stress him?”

This parent has the right idea. Just before a game, you want to keep it simple.

You don’t want to fill kids’ heads with technical instructions–the how to, reminders of past mistakes, or what results you expect.

This can lead to kids feeling pressure to perform up to your instructions.

Instead, here are two simple things you can say:

  1. “Enjoy your sport!” That means have fun and don’t focus on mistakes, what others think, or what others expect.
  2. “Focus on the moment–not on the outcome.” Outcomes are things like personal statistics or the score or win. Even worrying about what you might say to your athletes is under outcome thinking.

This is what stresses kids. In order to focus on the moment, kids need to think about what’s happening right now–this current play, shot or block.

Kids can focus on the moment by thinking about simple performance cues, which are objects, feelings, thoughts, targets, communication from teammates, or cues from their surroundings.

A soccer player, for example, would focus on having field awareness, creating space to accept a pass, controlling the ball before dribbling or passing or dribbling down the field under control.

We are working hard to bring you a complete program that will help you and your kids understand just what to say and do before a game–and how your kids can mentally prepare for a game in 10 minutes or less!

Stay tuned as we’ll have many more tips and strategies to share with you about pregame mental preparation.

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Help Your Young Athletes Improve Focus In Sports!

The Focused Sports Kid

Are your young athletes easily distracted by people shouting on the sidelines? Do they obsess over their mistakes? Do they worry about what people think of them?

These issues will cause their concentration and performance to suffer!The Focused Sports Kid helps kids overcome distractions that can hurt their performance in sports.

The Focused Sports Kid program is actually two programs: one for sports parents/coaches that provides mental game tips especially designed for parents and coaches, and for young athletes, ages 8 to 12, that will walk them through 7 simple lessons in mental focus in sports.

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