Parents: Motivating Your Young Athletes
Sports parents and coaches tell us that one of their biggest challenges is motivating their young athletes– especially without pressuring them.
Parents often say that their athletes have loads of talent, but don’t like to practice. Coaches sometimes say their kids like to goof off with each other more than they like playing the game.
These parents and coaches should understand that pressuring, pushing, or yelling at young athletes generally backfires. Such behavior often leads kids to enjoy sports less, which reduces their motivation.
So, what should coaches and parents do?
The key to motivating kids is to tap into the things about sports that they really enjoy. Rather than focusing on what you–the parent or coach wants–focus on what makes the kids come to practice and games. Of course, for each child this will be different.
Just as important, you should understand what causes kids to feel less motivated and what prompts them to quit.
Kids often take part in sports to be with friends or be part of a group. Or they want to experience the excitement of competition.
Other reasons include:
To learn and improve their skills, to improve their physical fitness, and to experience the “flow” or feeling of enjoyment that kids get from playing.
On the other hand, criticism from coaches and parents, lack of success, little progress and little fun will undermine their experience and hurt their motivation.
To help motivate kids, parents should show unconditional acceptance in sports. That means refrain from judging, criticizing or pressuring. They need to set a good example–and show kids that they are motivated in sports and other areas of their lives.
What’s more, adults need to help kids focus on their kids’ own improvement and refrain from comparing themselves to others.
Want to learn more about how to motivate young athletes without pressuring them?
Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology have exclusive access to an e-book, “How to Motivate Young Athletes,” here:
How To Motivate Young Athletes
What’s more, at Kids’ Sports Psychology, exclusive members have access to loads of eBooks, videos, audio interviews, articles, and more- all aimed at helping your young athletes boost their confidence and success in sports!
What do sports parents say about our resources?
“I’ve read so much of what you’ve done. You’re way on top of this more than anyone else. Please keep up the good work for the rest of us across the US.”
~Jack Malley, sports dad, coach and author
Help your young athletes boost their confidence and enjoy sports!
P.S. Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology can learn some great tips for motivating young athletes–without pressuring them–by clicking here: How To Motivate Young Athletes
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?
“I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful programs. My son Kai was one of the fastest 10 and under swimmers in Southern California and after he “aged up” to the 11-12 group he really lost confidence swimming against the much faster and bigger boys. He started with the Confident Sports Kids series and really enjoyed each and every lesson. He then started the Composed Kid series and built on the important building blocks that he was using from the first series. I so happy to report that Kai was able to swim to best times in each and every event he swam at the biggest and most important meet of the year in So Cal, the Club Championships. Each race he was more calm, composed, and relaxed. The final race was one that he was ranked last and one of his goals was to try for top 16…he was 49th! He cut over 4 seconds off his time ending up in 17th. He was ecstatic to say the least.”
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.
The Sports Parents’ Top Dilemma is a two part program. It includes:
- A 23 page E-book that identifies the challenge, explains why it is harmful to young athletes and gives step-by-stop sports psychology tips for helping kids.
- A 21 page kids’ sports psychology workbook that is intended to help you kids identify beliefs and expectations that are the root of perfectionism.
Now you can learn how to help young athletes overcome the difficult cycle of perfectionism, fear of failure and loss of confidence!
What are sports parents saying?
“My wife and I immediately applied your tips and luckily we got a fast response. Our 16-year-old daughter reads like a case study for lack of confidence. She matches the profile your e-book describes: high technical ability and successful in soccer practice but looks like she forgets how to play in games!”
~Glenn G. New Jersey
“After listening to a couple of your podcasts and reading your “10 tips to confidence in youth sports,” most of the challenges you make note of apply to my 14-year-old son. He’s got all the physical ability, but the more mistakes he makes, the worse it seems to get. So reading and listening to your information has been so helpful and validates what I have observed in him for the past few months. Thank you so much!”
~Brenda Felder, Everett, WA