WhenKids Have High Expectations in Sports
Sometimes kids don’t even understand that they go into a game or practice with big expectations that pressure them to perform well.
For example, they might have a list of unwritten, unspoken “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts.”
These might include, “I should never make mistakes,” “I should always be the top scorer,” “I should never double fault,” or, “I should never have a turnover.”
These expectations—which are different than the expectations of coaches—can hurt kids’ confidence.
Here’s What Happens
Kids go into a game with high expectations, and the minute they don’t meet these expectations, they start to doubt themselves. Their confidence sinks.
You don’t want your athletes to have these pressure-packed expectations because they’ll focus on outcome, scores, and stats.
Instead, kids need to focus on smaller, more manageable goals. For example, they might focus on getting open for the shot, seeing the target well, or getting open to take a shot.
These aren’t technical goals, they’re mini-goals to help kids focus on running plays and focusing on execution instead of outcome.
If you’d like to learn more about how to help kids with this very important issue—one of the main confidence boosters for kids—we just prepared an audio, one of a series, in which mental game expert Dr. Patrick Cohn speaks directly to kids about this topic.
Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology can download it here:
Kids’ Sports Psychology
While you’re there, you might check out our videos, eBooks, articles and audios—all designed to help you boost your kids’ confidence and enjoyment in sports!
What do experts have to say about our resources?
“I applaud what you’re doing and I’m impressed with your work.”
~ John Tauer, professor, Dept. of Psychology at University of St. Thomas, and assistant men’s basketball coach
Help your athletes develop mental toughness and make the most of their sports experience!
P.S. Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology should be sure to check out our audio series in which Dr. Cohn speaks directly to kids about mental game issues. Check out our most recent audio, about high expectations, here: Kids’ Sports Psychology
Help Young Athletes Overcome Perfectionist Challenges in Sports
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.
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Help Your Young Athletes Overcome Self-Doubt In Sports!
The Confident Sports Kid helps young athletes improve confidence quickly and overcome common confidence killers that destroy motivation and fun in sports!
This is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to boost young athletes’ performance, happiness and success… in sports and life!
The Confident Sports Kid program is actually two programs: one that teaches sports parents how to boost their kids’ confidence, and another that teaches young athletes age 8 to 12 how to improve their self talk, avoid negative thinking, overcome expectations that limit confidence, and much more.
What are parents and coaches saying?
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