Keeping Athletes Involved During Isolation

Sports Parent That Hurts Kids' Confidence

“Life as a Team Sport” Campaign

It’s still possible for kids to stay involved in sports during COVID-19 isolation, says Spencer Gordon, partnership manager for the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Portland.

PCA, which aims to create better athletes and people, has launched a “Life as a Team Sport” campaign, which includes many online resources for helping young athletes tune up their mental game skills.

It includes Zoom meetings and Facebook Live events that feature well-known athletes.

Meanwhile, Gordon advises that parents talk to kids about ways to look toward the future.

“Eventually this will all pass but we can use this time to up that mental toughness and mental acuity,” he says. “This is a time when we can better certain skills. And really fine tune certain aspects of sports in general, in the triple impact competitor sense.”

A triple impact competitor, according to PCA,  “is an athlete who works to improve oneself, teammates, and the game as a whole.”

One important mental game skill that PCA teaches its triple-impact competitors is to move on after mistakes, says Gordon. His suggests that coaches create a mistake ritual, such as coaches giving kids a flushing sign to help them move on. On his own team, kids are taught to pound on their chest after making a mistake.

“The idea is that the most important play is always the next play,” he says. The mistake ritual is a physical motion to help kids physically and mentally let go.

Right now, parents should also take time, if possible, to get physically active with young athletes outside and try to impart life lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis. He suggests that parents avoid hiding the crisis, but instead use it to teach lessons.

“Kids are feeling the hurt; we need to be inspirational leaders.Be as enthusiastic and engaging as you can, creating these memorable moments and important life lessons about what we cherish in life.”

Listen to the PCA Podcast Here:

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

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