Sports Parents: Dealing With Bullied Kids
A fuming sports mom recently asked us what to do to help her daughter, a talented athlete who was passed up for a slot on the Varsity Team and is now being bullied by the girls who made the team.
“I have noticed my daughter’s confidence slip – both on and off the field. The Varsity players treat the others like rubbish, including a freshman who has no right to be on Varsity in the first place.”
“And I’ve heard that the junior players on Varsity have made cruel remarks to my daughter, which I believe is making her pull back from the game even further,” the sports mom writes.
This sports mom has already talked to the coach, and wonders if she should approach friends on the school board.
Indeed, this is a frustrating and difficult situation.
Rather than fuming and attacking, parents should first have a civil conversation with the coach.
This parent tried that, and it didn’t work. Parents can also try to talk to a league administrator, or, if they believe their child’s confidence is suffering, find another team.
However, if your child’s team is the only game in town—as is true of this family—you need to teach your athletes some mental game strategies that will help boost their confidence in the face of adversity.
First off, you as parents need to stop comparing your kids to others. This causes your sports kids to make comparisons, which is a mental game no-no.
When kids make comparisons, they often psych themselves out. Instead, they need to focus on their own strengths and block out all thoughts of other players.
If they need a little help identifying their own strengths, they should make a list of these. This involves identifying all that’s great about what they do and have done in sports.
When kids can focus on their past accomplishments, past success, and the compliments they receive from others, they are more likely to feel confident.
What’s more, your athletes need to focus on playing in the moment. They shouldn’t think about the score or the win or their stats.
If your child is a basketball player, she should think about what she needs to do right now to play her position well. She can also set small goals like playing good defense or nabbing five rebounds.
You don’t want doubt to creep into your kids’ minds. That’s a confidence killer. Help them identify doubtful thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts.
Here at Kids’ Sports Psychology, we’ve got loads of resources to help your kids boost their confidence in the face of adversity.
- Growing From Adversity: How to Stay Confident After Failure, an e-book for young athletes.
- Helping Young Athletes Stay Confident and Mentally Tough in the Face of Bullies, an e-book and workbook program.
- Appreciate Your Talents: How to Avoid Making Comparisons, an e-book for young athletes.
- And much more, including audio interviews, videos, articles and worksheets.
Here’s what people are saying about our resources:
“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
Help your young athletes make the most of their physical talents… Visit:
Kids’ Sports Psychology
P.S. If you’re already an exclusive Kids’ Sports Psychology member, visit this page to download our e-book:
“Growing From Adversity: How to Stay Confident After Failure.”
How to Be Mentally Tough in The Face of Bullies
Bullying is out of control in sports and it can be destructive to our sports kids.
All kind son kids can be the targets of bullies:
- Gifted athletes are often targeted because others are jealous.
- Kids who are smaller and less physically advanced also can become the focus of bullies.
- When kids are competing for a ladder position on a team, bullying is also common.
- Girls taunt, tease, exclude, and hurt one another in sports just as much as boys do.
But bullies aren’t just kids… There are plenty of bully coaches too!
Bullying can not only cause kids to drop out of sports but it can also hurt their confidence in life.
We’ve developed a program to help you protect your kids from bullying!
You’ll learn numerous mental game skills to help your sports kids overcome bullying.
What are sports parents saying?
“We Don’t Want to Become Typical Sports Parents”
“We appreciate your newsletter so much. Especially with our son an elite athlete, it helps us so much. It helps us understand how he thinks, what he needs, and how not to become one of those typical sports parents.”
~Kirsten Lenko B.C., Canada
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.”