Help Sports Kids Grow From Adversity

Youth Sports Psychology

How To Comeback After Mistakes

As many as 75% of the athletes we work with are very hard on themselves after a mistake or loss.

Here’s an example: A high school soccer player struggles with her game after missing a few shots.

If she misses a shot on a goal early in the game, she gets upset and starts to think that something is wrong with her shot.

In the face of adversity, she starts playing defensively, to avoid making mistakes, and in no time, she’s playing scared. That’s not a good idea. She should be out there taking risks.

While it’s human nature for kids to be disappointed with themselves after a loss or failure, it’s a mental game no-no.

Young athletes need to learn that they can grow from adversity. This is a skill that helps them not only in sports, but also in other areas of their lives.

Athletes who respond to adversity in a positive way and see setbacks as a means to grow rather than a reason to lose confidence and motivation will learn faster and become more successful.

If players’ first response to adversity is to become upset and berate themselves, they’ll have trouble growing as athletes.

To overcome this challenge, kids need to make a few mental game adjustments.

They need to learn to accept the fact that everyone makes mistakes and experiences losses. And they need to learn how to process their losses or mistakes so they don’t dwell on them and lose confidence.

Help your kids understand that they can’t have “perfect” games. Just before games or performances, help them let go of the idea that they shouldn’t make mistakes.

When they do make mistakes or experience losses, encourage them to let go and move on. If they’re still playing, they need to focus on the next shot, play or pitch. And they shouldn’t try to analyze their mistakes after a game or performance.

Sports parents should focus on what kids did well—and also invite them to think about what they could do differently next time. What did they learn that will allow them to grow from adversity—instead of getting stuck in berating themselves?

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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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