How Sports Parents Can Help Kids Before Games

Mental Preparation

Young Athletes And Pregame Mental Preparation

It’s so tempting, as parents, to give kids your top tips so they perform well in the game…

This is because we want so badly for our kids to perform well, stay focused, and be confident about their performance.

We can’t help but say things like, “Be sure to dribble with your head up!” And, “Make sure you shoot the ball on net!”

As well-meaning as such pregame instructions may be, they’re not productive and can backfire. In fact, they’re counter-productive for kids.

When you over-coach before a game, you fill your kids’ heads with too many details about what they should or should not do.

When you over-coach, you’re not trusting kids to do the job they need to do. Some young athletes even lose confidence because they feel you don’t trust that they know what to do.

What’s more, you’re distracting your young athletes by not allowing them to think about what they need to do.

You want athletes to be free to perform intuitively.

Athletes need to trust in what they have learned. If you don’t trust in what they’ve learned, it will be hard for them to have confidence in what they’ve learned.

Instead of assuming kids need your coaching tips before games, you want kids to take charge of their pregamementalpreparation.

When young athletes take charge of their pregameroutine and confidence, they feel more in control.

You want your athletes to be proactive and learn how to fuel their own confidence!

They should not wait for teammates or coaches to praise them or wait to make a good play, shot, pass, or run in order to feel confident.

Help your athletes understand that their confidence develops over months or years of practice and competition. Avoid over-coaching them, which suggests that they need you to feel confident or know what to do in competition.

They’ve had many experiences, practices and games to draw on before they compete today. These experiences should help support a base level of confidence.

Your role as parents is to allow your athletes to have a calm mind before games, free of distractions, coaching tips, or expectations.

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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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