How to Help Athletes Focus on The Process

Youth Sports Mental Game

Athletes Who Are More Confident in Practice Than Competition

A sports parent wrote in and said:

“Somehow on the courts, my son still lacks confidence. He has great techniques and I know that he can be a great player. But on the court he freezes, he feels scared and once he knows he sees competition that is better, his performance drops as well. Please help me on how to help him overcome this?”

Often, kids who freeze up during games don’t feel as comfortable in games as they do in practice, or they’re intimidated by the competition. They may also lack trust in the skills they learned in practice. 

During practice, sports kids have the opportunity to practice their skills in a low-stress environment, with calmer coaches, no parents, and with supportive friends alongside them. 

Under this scenario, it is much easier to try new things and feel at ease with the game. 

Game-time, however, is a different story…

Under the ramped-up intensity from coaches and parents and past failures, fear of failure can take hold. Your athletes may question their skills and feel reticent to try new techniques or play boldly.

It’s easy to freeze up and play to avoid making mistakes, instead of playing freely and with confidence

As parents, you need to let your sports kids know that you only want them to focus on improving their skills and playing in the moment. 

Encourage them to focus on small goals, rather than outcomes or on the size and strength of the competition. 

Small goals might include knowing where their teammates are on the field or court, attempting crisp passes and plays, and defending with aggression

They should concentrate on these goals instead of thinking,
“I need to score two goals,” or, “We need to win this game.” 

In addition, remind kids to focus on their own strengths, not the apparent strengths of the opposition. And tell your sports children that true fun is playing in the moment. 

Focusing on the process rather than the outcome is what’s most important. 

Athletes who under perform in competition do so because they focus too much on the what ifs…

What if I lose? What if I choke again? What if I don’t perform well? 

Your athletes will then lose trust in their skills and perform too safe, which leads to under performance in competition.

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Help Your Young Athletes Improve Focus In Sports!

The Focused Sports Kid

Are your young athletes easily distracted by people shouting on the sidelines? Do they obsess over their mistakes? Do they worry about what people think of them?

These issues will cause their concentration and performance to suffer!The Focused Sports Kid helps kids overcome distractions that can hurt their performance in sports.

The Focused Sports Kid program is actually two programs: one for sports parents/coaches that provides mental game tips especially designed for parents and coaches, and for young athletes, ages 8 to 12, that will walk them through 7 simple lessons in mental focus in sports.

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