How to Tap into Your Athletes’ Personal Motives for Sports Participation

Motivating Sports Kids

Motivating Young Athletes Without Pressuring Them

In our survey of more than 3,000 sports parents, the top challenge cited by parents of young athletes is this:

How can I help my kids get the most of out sports without pressuring them?

In the survey, 68.7 percent of respondents named this issue as a challenge, and that makes sense. It’s not always easy helping your kids make the most of an experience without pressuring them.

Here at Kids’ Sports Psychology and Youth Sports Psychology, we suggest how you can take the pressure off your kids. But it’s not easy…

When kids participate for you and not for themselves, their motivation comes from external factors, not from within.

What’s more, when sports kids feel pressured from others via expectations, they often pressure themselves, and then get frustrated when they don’t perform well.

The first step to helping your sports kids get the most out of sports is to know why gets kids are motivated.

Motivated athletes:

  • Love to practice and compete
  • Enjoy working on their weaknesses so they can improve
  • Get excited about competition
  • Want to win
  • Love to be with friends
  • Stay committed even after adversity
  • Pursue their goals with commitment

Kids are generally motivated to play sports to be with friends or part of a group, to experience the excitement of competition, to learn and improve their skills, to improve their physical fitness or experience a “flow” or feeling of enjoyment.

To help your kids feel motivated from within, you’ll want to tap into why they’re playing. Is it one of the above reasons?

When you’re talking to them about playing or performing, keep their personal motivations in mind, which might be different from yours.

Don’t say, “I want you to have a great game today to impress Uncle Bob.” Instead, you might say, “I’ll bet you’re looking forward to playing next to your best friend today.”

Next, focus on your young athletes’ small improvements. For example, golfers can learn simple tasks such as improving their touch on the putting green.

Soccer players might focus on making solid passes to teammates. These small improvements will help young athletes feel successful.

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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

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