Parents: Help Kids Boost Pregame Concentration
Just before kids compete, they need to focus as much as possible on what’s happening right now, not on the past or future.
They will do better if they can avoid focusing on common distractions–what others think of them, the score, the win, or past mistakes.
When kids concentrate on playing in the moment, or here and now, they’re more likely to get in the flow and perform well.
Just before a game, you can help kids with distractions, such as not focusing on things like the score or their stats.
First, understand that parents can be a big distraction before a game, even though their efforts are well meaning.
Just before a game, avoid talking about past mistakes. Don’t burden kids with a lot of detailed instructions; these can bog them down and make it hard for them to play intuitively.
Next, help them understand that they can selectively concentrate on what they need to focus on.
Focusing is a skill that can be honed.
Young athletes should utilize their selective focusing ability to concentrate on what we call “performance cues.”
These are certain images, feelings, thoughts, targets, communication from teammates or cues from their surroundings that help kids perform well.
For example, performance cues for soccer players include:
- Creating space to accept a pass
- Controlling the ball before dribbling or passing it
- Dribbling down the field under control
These cues should be specific and simple. You want to simplify the game, not make it more complex for athletes.
When young athletes give all of their focus to these cues, they’ll be able perform better, without being distracted by parents yelling on the sidelines, worries about what others think, or expectations about how many goals they’re supposed to make.
Want to learn more about how to help kids focus before a game?
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Kids learn how to mentally prepare for games by listening to a 10-minute audio program before each game to learn a new pregame skill.
The program also includes a manual for parents to help you instill each lesson and get on board with helping your athletes feel focused and ready.
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Young athletes and their parents and coaches tell us that sports kids often struggle with these pregame mental game challenges:
- They feel pressure to excel from expectations they feel from others
- They focus too much on the outcome instead of the process
- They fail to take charge of their confidence before the compete
- They don’t trust in their skills when they go from practice to competition
- They hang on to mistakes and dwell in them in competition
- They worry too much about what others think about their performance
- They tighten up and play safe when they feel pressure to succeed
- They interpret pregame jitters as harmful to their performance
“10 Minute Pregame Prep” will tell you everything you need to know about ensuring your sports kids avoid classic mental game pitfalls before a game, learn how to trust their instincts, and just go for it. It provides lots of advice for you, too…
With our program, you can stop wondering what to do and relax before your kids’ games!
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Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!
Do your young athletes:
- Criticize themselves often after making mistakes?
- Freeze up and look scared when faced with competitive pressure?
- Lose confidence after working with a negative coach?
- Perform like stars in practice but freeze up or play tentatively during games or competitions?
If so, check out The Ultimate Sports Parent!
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“After listening to your podcasts and reading your free e-book, most of the challenges apply to my 14-year-old son. He’s got all the physical ability, but unsure of himself in games. He has a difficult time rebounding from errors, the screaming coach on the side, along with his uncle in the stands probably doesn’t help his confidence. So reading and listening to your information has been so helpful and validates what I have observed in him for the past few months. Thank you so much!”
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