Do Your Athletes Avoid Mental Coaching?
Teens and young athletes are often resistant to mental game coaching because they don’t understand what it involves…
Mental training expert Patrick Cohn recently spoke with his sister, Lisa, during an interview on Ultimate Sports Parent podcast about how to help teens and kids embrace mental game training…
Young athletes often think mental coaching is therapy. They assume it’s only because something is wrong with them.
But this is not the case…
Parents need to help young athletes understand what mental training is. To do this, parents need to learn about its benefits and educate their children, Patrick Cohn says.
First of all, young athletes need to understand the benefits of mental performance coaching in sports and other areas of their lives, he says.
Mental performance coaching teaches kids to focus, refocus, trust in their training, manage expectations and become more proactive about building their confidence.
One of the main signs that athletes need mental coaching is when they have trouble transferring skills from practice to games.
During practice, some athletes play freely and intuitively. But once they play in games, they start worrying about failing and about what coaches, parents and peers think of their performance.
Mental coaching helps athletes and parents with these challenges.
During competition, kids might also struggle with high expectations and fragile confidence.
Mental performance coaching can also help kids who are struggling with pressure, which can make them more likely to drop out of sports. It can help them enjoy sports more, says Cohn.
To help kids embrace mental game training, parents can begin by talking with them about role models–professional athletes–who benefit from mental training. Examples include Iga Swiatek and Roger Federer.
Parents and coaches can then tell athletes that mental training is coaching, not therapy. “They’re not seeing a therapist or psychologist but someone who helps them with mental preparation,” says Cohn.
Parents can also help young athletes understand what mental training involves. Generally, kids and teens can meet in person or online with a mental game coach once a week or so. The coach might begin with a mental game assessment–a series of questions.
Athletes will do mental game exercises during the week, perhaps a workbook, before meeting their mental performance coach again.
Parents need to keep in mind, says Cohn: Mental coaching is not for keeping kids in sports. If they want to quit for reasons other than the pressure they feel, the training is not appropriate.
Listen to the Podcast with Mental Coach Dr. Cohn:
Mental Performance Coaching for Youth Athletes
It’s difficult for sports parents to watch their kids under-perform in sports and lose self-esteem due to fear, doubt and tentativeness. It’s hard to stand idle and watch.
The solutions are not obvious. However, you, as a parent, can learn how to respond to your athletes’ fears, doubts, and frustrations. You can develop happy, successful kids who are “mentally tough” in sports – and life!
One-on-one sports psychology coaching is the fastest and most effective method to improve your athletes’ mental game, boost their performance, and make lasting changes. And as a bonus, parents learn what to say to help young athletes feel confident and thrive in sports. Please call us at 888-742-7225 with your questions.
Please contact us today at Peak Performance Sports to learn more about individual mental coaching programs for serious young athletes on a mission to greatness.