Some young athletes hurt their performance because they are perfectionists. Perfectionism in sports does have some advantages for athlete. Perfectionists tend to be highly motivated, to work hard, and strive to be the best. However, perfectionism has its downside. Perfectionists often don’t perform up to their abilities because they’re afraid of failing. Because perfectionists are highly motivated and really want to win or succeed, they’re afraid of making the mistakes that will prevent them from winning.
A hallmark sign of perfectionists: They often spend a lot of time training and practicing, then under-perform when competing in matches or games. Fear of failure is part of the problem for these athletes.
It’s ironic that the athletes who want to win the most and who train the hardest are most likely to be mentally “stuck.” These kids also tend to lose sight of bigger goals. They become so engrossed in training and practice that perfecting their technique or working hard in practice becomes the primary goal. Instead, they should be practicing to build confidence in competition. Often, when these young athletes compete, they believe that they’re failures unless they’re “perfect” or win.
Please share the info graphic with other parents and coaches who you think would appreciate it. The graphic below will help you know what to look for when assessing perfectionism in young athletes.
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