How to Help Sports Kids Trust in Their Skills

How to Help Sports Kids Trust in Their Skills

How to Help Your Kids Stop Over Analyzing Their Performance

A sports parent asks:

“How do I reduce my child’s over-analysis of possible difficult in-game situations?”

Concentrating on in-game mistakes is a common issue for sports kids, and hurts kids’ confidence.

Do your sports children focus on the small details, the mistakes they make, and get lost in the game at hand?

Do they get frustrated and down on themselves when they make these mistakes, and does this frustration lead to more mistakes and inevitably further frustration?

If so, your sports children are stuck in the wrong mindset.

There is a place and time for your sports kids to nitpick over their mistakes, and this place is called practice.

Practice is the time for kids to focus on the details and improve their games in a safe environment.

During games, on the other hand, is the last place to over analyze mistakes, as it will do nothing to help kids have fun or feel successful.

During games, athletes need to focus on trusting the work they have already done during practice.

They need to trust in their skills and play freely and intuitively with what we like to call a “functional mindset,” one in which they concentrate fully on the game at hand and just “go for it.”

To help your sports kids achieve this functional, calm mindset, don’t over-coach them before games.

Don’t talk about the little mistakes they occasionally make or their less-than-solid habits. These conversations make kids focus on avoiding mistakes, instead of feeling free to perform with confidence.

Instead, remind them how hard they’ve worked in practice, and encourage them to play athletically and decisively–with no second-guessing their decisions.

While it makes sense for kids to practice new skills repeatedly until they become well-learned, kids need to leave practice on the practice floor when game time comes.

Tell your young athletes that now is the time to believe in their skills and get into the flow of the game–not the details of their game. They need to stop over thinking and just react.

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

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.

Leave a Comment

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