How to Explain Mental Training to Young Athletes

Mental Training

Mental Game Coaching For Young Athletes

A sport parent asks:

“My son has been in a slump with all his baseball activities that he cannot seem to shake. He cannot communicate to us what he needs to help him and we don’t want him to fail even more. How do we help him understand?”

To answer this sports parent, yes!

Slumps almost always is the result of a loss of confidence.

A child can feel this loss of confidence for a variety of reasons, and it doesn’t take many sub-par performances for his or her anxiety to multiply and cause real performance issues.

The only way to combat this loss of confidence and slumping is to work on the mental game. However, most athletes will look to change their physical game first, which can lead to staying stuck.

It’s totally normal for your kids be resistant working on their mental game

They may feel like admitting they need to work on the mental game is admitting they have a weakness. This is a common misconception.

They also don’t understand what mental game coaching is so they tend to avoid it altogether.

In reality, most elite athletes work on bettering every part of their game – ESPECIALLY the mental game!

Mia Hamm, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, says, “The most important attribute a soccer player must have is mental toughness. Before you can win, you must have the will to prepare to win.”

Mental training isn’t for the weak, it is for athletes that want to improve their confidence and consistency!

The question becomes:

How can I help my child embrace mental skills training?

  1. Focus on the many benefits of mental game training. Your child will improve consistency, focus, and gain confidence.
  2. Remind them that mental game training is just like physical training. Both are needed to help athletes perform their best.
  3. Check in with their beliefs about mental training. Do they have mistaken views? Use your knowledge about the importance of the mental game to debunk these ideas.
  4. Mention the role models and sports superstars who have used mental training. From Tiger Woods to Jeff Burton and the vast majority of Olympic athletes, all stress the importance of a strong mental game. Can all these legendary athletes be wrong?
  5. Tell your kids they may miss out without mental training. Why give other athletes such an advantage? The mental game, like shooting a free-throw or making a putt, is a fundamental part of their game. Why would they want to lose their competitive edge without it?
  6. Discuss all the benefits outside of sports. Sports psychology can apply to many other areas of life. It can help kids focus in a class or on a test, deal with the anxieties that come with growing up, and give them confidence to take on whatever challenges arise in and out of sports.

Remember, kids are the most likely to embrace mental training when they understand it, and the best way for a child to do this is to experience it first hand!

Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology have immediate access to an eBook that helps kids embrace mental training:

Help Kids Embrace Mental Training

It’s an in-depth review of many of the myths and misconceptions of mental training. It includes information about how to help kids achieve a healthier attitude toward working on the mental game!

*Subscribe to The Sports Psychology Podcast on iTunes
*Subscribe to The Sports Psychology Podcast on Spotify

Improve Your Mental Game From Anywhere In The World

We’re certain that, as a parent, you want to help your child develop confidence and discipline in sports and life. And as a sports parent, you’d love for your children to reach their potential in sports. But encouraging your child to strive for greatness without pressuring them can be a challenge.

You can get expert mental coaching with us from anywhere. Meet with us via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or phone call. With today’s video technology, we are able to connect with athletes and coaches all over the globe.

Call Us Today to Schedule Your Free 15-Minute Session.
Find Out How Your Athlete Can Benefit From One-on-One Mental Training

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.