Letting Sports Kids be Responsible For Their Success
Sports parents need to release their young athletes to the game.
That’s the word from H. Rothenberg, who has run a basketball program for 20 years and is the owner of Triple C Camp, Charlottesville, Va.
What exactly does he mean by this and how can this improve your kids’ success in sports?
When sports kids approach middle school, and sports become more competitive, it’s time for parents to take a step back and let go of their children, he says. Let them be responsible for their own successes and failures. This will allow sports kids to grow and develop, he says.
“At ages 5, 6, and 7, parents put kids in sports for exercise and recreation. As they get older, their investment steps up a notch. Parents often take on too much instead of releasing their child to the game,” says Rothenberg, whose camps focus on sports.
Sports can be a safe place for kids to gain experience with both successes and failures, he says.
Here at the Ultimate Sports Parent and Kids’ Sports Psychology, we agree with Rothenberg. You want the sports experience to be your child’s experience—not yours.
Often, parents get so wrapped up in the excitement of youth sports that the experience becomes more about the parents than the kids. Keep this in mind. For example, Rothenberg says, if the coach asks kids to fill out forms at the beginning of the season, let the kids fill them out.
However, it’s critical, before you step back, to feel comfortable with your child’s coach and program…
Before you sign up your young athlete, it’s a good idea to interview the coach about his or her philosophy and ensure it’s a philosophy you agree with:
- How does the coach handle playing time?
- Does the coach create an atmosphere that encourages teamwork?
- Watch the coach in action. Is he or she supportive and encouraging? Or does he or she yell and criticize? (We hope not!)
Once you feel comfortable with a coach, that’s when you start “releasing” your child to the game, as Rothenberg says. Let the coaches do their job.
Support the coaches. Don’t coach your sports kids or tell them that the coach isn’t doing things right. That only confuses kids.
Again, you need to give your young athletes the freedom to learn from their own mistakes and successes.
Want to learn more about how to improve your kids’ confidence and your sports parenting skills? At Kids’ Sports Psychology, we have loads of resources for you. For example, we offer these e-books, audios and videos, which are free to members:
- Post-game checklist for Parents (e-book for parents)
- Confidence Video: Pre-game Tips to Boost Confidence (for young athletes
- Audios that teach kids mental imagery
But that’s not all. At Kids’ Sports Psychology, you can also access many more audio and video programs plus articles, Q and As and e-books that help you and your young athletes get the most out of their physical talent.
Help your sports kids reap all the physical, emotional and social benefits of taking part in sports:
Kids’ Sports Psychology
Here’s what Rothenberg says about our programs:
“I love what you do on your website and the impact and influences you’re making on children’s lives across our great country.”
P.S. If you’re already a Kids’ Sports Psychology member, you can visit this page to listen to our interview with Rothenberg and also hear what he has to say about our program:
H Rothenberg Interview
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.
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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?
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