Is Your Sports Kid a Gamer or Choker?

Types of Young Athletes

Is Your Athlete a Gamer, Choker or Steady Eddie?

Some kids perform better in competition than in practice. Some struggle with maintaining their focus during practice because it lacks the excitement of a match or game.

And some excel in practice, but underperform during competitions or matches. These athletes often suffer from fear of failure and anxiety, which hurts their performance during games.

Sports kids roughly fall into three categories: gamers, chokers or steady Eddie/Steady Sally.

Gamers live for competition; that’s what excites them. They perform better in competition than practice. For them, practices are less exciting than games. During practice, they often go through the motions and feel like no amount of practice will improve their performance.

The second type of athlete is the choker. These athletes perform well in practice, on a daily basis.. But during competitions, they look completely different. They often underperform because they’re afraid of failing, or experience anxiety or worry. They worry about what others think. They focus too much on outcomes. They tend to play tight and controlled and try too hard to be perfect.

During playoffs, when the stakes are high, some players put tremendous amounts of pressure on themselves and end up choking. The pressure results in players trying too hard to do too much. They have a few bad plays, which can snowball into catastrophe. Often, these are talented athletes who often aren’t able to deliver in a clutch. Well-known chokers include Patrick Ewing, Tim Henman and Charles Barkley.

The third type of athlete is Steady Eddie or Steady Sally. These athletes perform well during practice and are open to learning and improving. They trust themselves during competition and often perform intuitively. In many ways, this personality type combines the best of both worlds. They have good work ethics and genuinely enjoy practice. They don’t fold or choke during competition. They tend to perform consistently. The Steady Eddies and Steady Sallies are coaches’ dreams.

Help sports kids who are chokers by suggesting they stop trying to give 110%. If they try too hard or force their game, they may not do well. They need to channel the additional intensity they feel during big games into helping them focus. They also need to stay in the moment and avoid focusing on the score or win.

Are your sports kids gamers, chokers or steady Eddies/Steady Sallies? Once you–and they–know what type of players they are, you can help them improve their game by understanding the pros and cons of their sports styles.

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The Composed Sports Kid

“The Composed Sports Kid” audio and workbook digital download program for young athletes and their parents or coach helps kids cope with frustration and anger in sports. Help your sports kids learn how to manage expectations and let go of mistakes so they can keep their head in the game. 

The Composed Sports Kid system is really two programs in one–one program to train parents and coaches how to help their kids practice composure, and one program that teaches young athletes–ages 6 to 13–how to improve composure, let go of mistakes quickly, have more self-acceptance, and thus enjoy sports more

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