Avoiding Comparisons to Boost Confidence in Young Athletes
As sports parents, we all strive to be positive and happy role models for our children.
Unfortunately, the stresses of sports can bring out the negative in us if we don’t try to keep an actively positive mind.
The trap is that well-meaning sports parents can undermine their sports children’s confidence, which eventually will lead to less fun and lower performance.
The first thing to remember as sports parents is to avoid making comparisons.
According to Janis B. Meredith, author of 11 Habits of Happy and Positive Sports Parents, comparing your child to another athlete or sibling may seem like an efficient motivational tactic, but actually, it’s effect is short-lived, if it even has a positive effect.
Negatively comparing your children to each other or others will only harm their confidence, and while it might inspire a short burst of effort, in the long run it will hurt sports kids,’ confidence she says.
Here at the Ultimate Sports Parent and Kids’ Sports Psychology, we agree.
Comparisons lead kids to put others on pedestals. Instead, your athletes should be focusing on their own strengths!
In addition to avoiding comparisons, sports parents should remember that the purpose of sports is to have fun and learn valuable lessons that will help your children grow into confident adults.
You want to build teamwork, communication, confidence, values, and integrity via sports participation.
None of this has anything to do with winning or losing, so stop worrying about the score, stats, scholarships, and instead focus on the process, says Meredith.
What’s more, she says, you need to tell them you love them and show unconditional love no matter how they perform. Most kids feel pressure to perform well for parents–even when you are super supportive.
Communicating that we love our children helps them learn the right lessons from the sports they play. It helps build their confidence, and encourages them to have fun expressing themselves in sports.
Kids pick up on the way you act on the sidelines; remember to be positive and let go of your own frustrations.
Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!
Do your young athletes:
- Criticize themselves often after making mistakes?
- Lose confidence after working with a negative coach?
- Freeze up and look scared when faced with competitive pressure?
- Perform like stars in practice but freeze up or play tentatively during games or competitions?
If so, check out The Ultimate Sports Parent!
The Ultimate Sports Parent will teach you powerful mental toughness secrets to improve your child’s success in sports.
Get proven strategies form leading youth sports experts!
What are sports parents saying about our mental training program?
“The Ultimate Sports Parent program is well designed to help parents and athletes come to terms with developing well rounded student athletes. This workbook will help give athletes and parents the competitive edge.”
~Mike Maveus, athlete & youth sports coach
Learn Mental Game Lessons to Help Young Athletes With Their Pregame Prep!
Young athletes and their parents and coaches tell us that sports kids often struggle with these pregame mental game challenges:
- They feel pressure to excel from expectations they feel from others
- They focus too much on the outcome instead of the process
- They fail to take charge of their confidence before the compete
- They don’t trust in their skills when they go from practice to competition
- They hang on to mistakes and dwell in them in competition
- They worry too much about what others think about their performance
- They tighten up and play safe when they feel pressure to succeed
- They interpret pregame jitters as harmful to their performance
“10 Minute Pregame Prep” will tell you everything you need to know about ensuring your sports kids avoid classic mental game pitfalls before a game, learn how to trust their instincts, and just go for it. It provides lots of advice for you, too…
With our program, you can stop wondering what to do and relax before your kids’ games!
Don’t forget to get your FREE download (located in the middle of the page) of Lesson 1 from the Parent’s Manual!
Sign up for our free report to receive weekly emails and tips: