Building Confidence in Young Athletes
Over and over, coaches and parents tell us that when kids build confidence in sports, they boost it in other areas of their lives.
For example, at Kids’ Sports Psychology, we teach kids how to cope with worries about what everyone is thinking of them. As you know, this is a worry that affects kids—especially teens—in all areas of their lives.
All teens want other people to like them!
But if kids focus too much on what others think of them, it’s hard for them to perform well in sports—and it affects other areas of their lives, too.
To help kids who are worry about what others think of their performance, we give them something else to think about.
We tell them to focus on what’s happening here and now, as they’re dribbling the ball, preparing for a free-throw, or defending a goal. We tell them how to banish distractions—like worries.
They should start by identifying the fact that they’re worrying. They should understand it’s a distraction, and refocus on the job at hand.
Sure, we make it sound easy, but it takes practice—and it works! If your kids can learn how to cope with such worries in sports, believe us, they learn how to transfer this important skill into other areas of their lives.
Another confidence buster:
Kids often give themselves negative labels—again, in sports and life. They may tell themselves, “I’m a wimp,” “I can’t shoot,” or “I’m a terrible putter.”
Think of all the ways kids can tell themselves such things in other areas of their lives, too: “I’m a terrible math student,” “I can’t take tests,” and on and on!
When kids tell themselves such negative things, we teach them to first identify that they’re doing this. Then, we ask them to replace these negative statements with new beliefs.
For example, ask kids, in their minds, to replace the thought, “I’m a choker,” with “I love to play in high-pressure situations.”
Or if they tell themselves, “I can’t play well in the rain,” they might instead tell themselves, “I know how to play well in the rain. I need to focus on what I can control today.”
We’re sure you can think of plenty of ways this strategy can be applied to school and other areas of the kids’ lives.
Check out our CD and workbook program, “The Confident Sports Kid: A 7-Day Plan for Building Ultimate Self-Confidence in Sports.” It’s actually two programs in one. It includes a manual and CD for parents and coaches, plus a CD and workbook created specifically for sports kids. Learn more here:
What do sports parents say about our resources?
“Dr. Patrick Cohn and Lisa Cohn are to be congratulated! Together, they offer a wealth of knowledge, information, and practical mental tools for sports parents on the substantial “mental game” challenges and pressures facing today’s young athletes.”
~Marc D. Anderson, LCSW, MGCP, Mental Game Coach
Help your young athletes boost their confidence in sports—and life!
P.S. If you’ve got sports kids who call themselves negative names, have high expectations, or other confidence busters, be sure to check out our Confident Sports Kid program here: The Confident Sports Kid
Help Your Young Athletes Overcome Self-Doubt In Sports!
The Confident Sports Kid helps young athletes improve confidence quickly and overcome common confidence killers that destroy motivation and fun in sports!
This is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to boost young athletes’ performance, happiness and success… in sports and life!
The Confident Sports Kid program is actually two programs: one that teaches sports parents how to boost their kids’ confidence, and another that teaches young athletes age 8 to 12 how to improve their self talk, avoid negative thinking, overcome expectations that limit confidence, and much more.
What are parents and coaches saying?
“Each Race He Was More Calm, Composed, And Relaxed”
“I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful programs. My son Kai was one of the fastest 10 and under swimmers in Southern California and after he “aged up” to the 11-12 group he really lost confidence swimming against the much faster and bigger boys. He started with the Confident Sports Kids series and really enjoyed each and every lesson. He then started the Composed Kid series and built on the important building blocks that he was using from the first series. I so happy to report that Kai was able to swim to best times in each and every event he swam at the biggest and most important meet of the year in So Cal, the Club Championships. Each race he was more calm, composed, and relaxed. The final race was one that he was ranked last and one of his goals was to try for top 16…he was 49th! He cut over 4 seconds off his time ending up in 17th. He was ecstatic to say the least.”
Help Young Athletes Overcome Perfectionist Challenges in Sports!
Sports Parents’ Top Dilemma: Helping Young Athletes Kick Perfectionism And Fear of Failure will walk you through the problem and arm you with practical solutions.
The Sports Parents’ Top Dilemma is a two part program. It includes:
- A 23 page E-book that identifies the challenge, explains why it is harmful to young athletes and gives step-by-stop sports psychology tips for helping kids.
- A 21 page kids’ sports psychology workbook that is intended to help you kids identify beliefs and expectations that are the root of perfectionism.
Now you can learn how to help young athletes overcome the difficult cycle of perfectionism, fear of failure and loss of confidence!
What are parents saying?
“My wife and I immediately applied your tips and luckily we got a fast response. Our 16-year-old daughter reads like a case study for lack of confidence. She matches the profile your e-book describes: high technical ability and successful in soccer practice but looks like she forgets how to play in games!”
~Glenn G. New Jersey
“After listening to a couple of your podcasts and reading your “10 tips to confidence in youth sports,” most of the challenges you make note of apply to my 14-year-old son. He’s got all the physical ability, but the more mistakes he makes, the worse it seems to get. 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!”
~Brenda Felder, Everett, WA