How Can Young Athletes Trust Their Skills in Games?
A sports parent asks:
“When my son plays certain sports, especially basketball, there’s clearly and no hesitation to “mix it up” aggressively. He doesn’t always translate skills to game situations… he often fails to let his skills flourish due to the lack of aggressiveness and/or toughness. (The best example I can provide is that when he drives into traffic, he usually modifies his release so as to avoid contact, thereby seriously hindering his chance to make the shot and eliminating the chance of drawing a foul that is there to be drawn.) I’m wondering if you have any recommendations for this limitation?”
Often when players perform well in practice but fail to translate their “practice game” to real competition, they lack trust in being able to properly utilize the skills they learned in practice.
But trust is influenced by several other factors in athletes’ mental game…
This lack of trust is due to fears such as making a mistake and embarrassing themselves in front of their coaches, family, and friends. In essence, this is fear of failure.
Fear of failure is one of the toughest mental game challenges players face.
That’s because it compounds as young athletes make more mistakes.
With each mistake, they worry about what others think about their performance. They also start playing more tentatively, with little confidence, and that hurts their performance.
When this happens, it’s critical to uncover what fears are plaguing your young athletes.
- Are they afraid of being embarrassed in front of friends, coaches and teammates?
- Are they worried about making more mistakes and playing even worse?
- Are they worried about getting taken out of the game by the coach?
As sports parents, it’s your job to help kids figure out what they’re afraid of if they perform poorly. You also want to encourage them to let go of mistakes.
Better yet, let them know that mistakes are part of sports. They must have your permission to make mistakes. Give them three “get out of jail” cards to help them overcome mistakes.
Give them a “flushing” sign to help them move on after mistakes, as suggested by the Positive Coaching Alliance.
In addition, you want your athletes to play all out and trust in their skills no matter how many mistakes they’ve made in the game.
Learn more about overcoming fear of failure here:
Help Young Athletes Overcome Perfectionist Challenges in Sports!
Nearly every athlete struggles with some form of perfectionism or fear of failure.
Kids who look like stars in practice will often choke up or under perform during games or competition. Other athletes expect too much of themselves—then get frustrated when they don’t meet their high expectations. Or they’re extremely hard on themselves.
In all cases, this causes young athletes to play it safe. They refuse to take the important risks that help them excel and improve their confidence. Suddenly, they’re held back by fear, indecision, and hesitation.
Learn how to help young athletes overcome the difficult cycle of perfectionism, fear of failure and loss of confidence. You can stop guessing about what to do and say to your athlete!
Our program: “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 you can start implementing today.
You’ll start seeing changes in your young athlete’s confidence almost immediately.
Make your role as sports parent more enjoyable and easier! We tell you how to help your young athletes:
- Let go of mistakes more quickly
- Accept feedback better
- Perform more freely
- Think more creatively
- Stop worrying about what others’ think
- Dramatically improve their performance and attitude in sports
- Stop criticizing themselves
- Improve their confidence in sports
- They, too, will have more fun and reap more rewards.
“Sports Parents’ Top Dilemma: Helping Young Athletes Kick Perfectionism and Fear of Failure,” consists of two parts:
- A 23-page e-book that identifies the challenge, explains why it is harmful to young athletes (but also very common), and gives in-depth, step-by-step “sports psychology” tips for helping kids. Download this instantly!
- A 21-page kids’ sports psychology workbook that is intended to help your kids identify beliefs and expectations that are the root of perfectionism. It will also help them develop strategies to play more freely with less fear in competition.
Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!
Do your young athletes:
- Criticize themselves often after making mistakes?
- Lose confidence after working with a negative coach?
- Freeze up and look scared when faced with competitive pressure?
- Perform like stars in practice but freeze up or play tentatively during games or competitions?
If so, check out The Ultimate Sports Parent!
The Ultimate Sports Parent will teach you powerful mental toughness secrets to improve your child’s success in sports.
Get proven strategies form leading youth sports experts!
What are sports parents saying about our mental training program?
“The Ultimate Sports Parent program is well designed to help parents and athletes come to terms with developing well rounded student athletes. This workbook will help give athletes and parents the competitive edge.”
~Mike Maveus, athlete & youth sports coach
“I just listened to The Ultimate Sports Parent CD program on a drive back from North Carolina. Every parent should be required to listen to it! I thought it was great.” Thank you.”
~Rita, Sports Parent
“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