Helping Young Athletes turn Doubt into Confidence As The Fall Sports Season Begins

Youth Sports Psychology

Mental Game Skills to Overcome Doubt

As the new season begins, it’s a great idea to look at ways to boost your kids’ confidence in sports.

Going into a season equipped with the mental game strategies to stay mentally tough will help your kids throughout the season and the year.

Doubt is the number one confidence killer for young athletes.

You should begin by addressing this big one as the season starts.

Sports kids who are hard on themselves tend to doubt themselves more. They tend to be pessimistic, perfectionists, or expect a lot of themselves.

Often, they doubt their abilities even before they start a competition or make a mistake.

As you might imagine, these kids can let doubt run rampant in their minds.

After goofing up, they might ask themselves:

  • “Am I tall enough to play this position?”
  • “Am I wearing the right shoes?”
  • “Do I have enough natural talent to play?”
  • “Can I really beat my opponent?”

Such thoughts can drain the confidence out of any athlete!

The key for sports parents and coaches is:

Help kids identify common doubts and understand when they’re doubting themselves.

You then need to teach them how to turn doubts into statements of self-confidence and positive self-talk.

First of all, help your young athletes identify when they’re experiencing doubts. Ask them what they tell themselves after making a mistake. Have them list their top five doubts.

Next, take some of these doubts and turn them into positive statements…

For example, if your sports kids tell themselves, “I’m too small to make that shot,” suggest that they tell themselves instead, “I’ve made this shot in practices hundreds of times. I know I can do it.”

Or if they tell themselves, “I’m not a talented player,” you might suggest something like, “I’m a hard worker, I’ve been successful in the past, I know I can succeed.”

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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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