How to Focus on The Fun in Youth Sports
A sports mom wrote:
“My son is 8 years old and has been playing hockey since he was 4. He has been on the “travel” team for two years now… He loves to play but has absolutely no drive to win. I do not know how to change his mentality to understand that sports are not just for enjoyment but are also to be won, especially team sports.”
The parents of 8-year-old kids should not focus on perform well or winning, as this sports parent does.
Above all, they need to ensure their kids are having fun and keep coming back.
Parents need to understand that more than half of all sports kids drop out by the age of 13 because they’re not having fun anymore.
Instead of pressuring kids to be top performers, sports parents’ goal should be to keep them in sports for the long run–and learning life skills.
That means focusing on why the kids are participating.
Generally, at this age, your athletes play to be with friends, learn some skills, be part of a group, and have a good time.
Later, when sports kids are age 14-16, it’s okay to focus more on peak performance. But again, only focusing on having a great game or winning sucks the enjoyment out of sports for most kids.
Athletes feel the pressure from parents when you talk about scoring goals, playing their best, and not making mistakes–weather this is stated or now.
Instead of concentrating on playing great all the time when you have younger kids, be sure to focus learning and growing skills.
Encourage kids to be good communicators, great team players and to think about how they can boost their defensive skills, for example.
When they are in the flow, they are having fun and enjoying the moment. This means you want them to focus on one play, shot or routine at a time, not worry about how you think they are performing.
The more “in the moment” kids are, the more likely they feel “flow” and enjoy sports–which leads to staying in athletics for the long term.
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.
- DAY 1 – Positive Communication with Your Athlete
- DAY 2 – Helping Your Athlete Establish Appropriate Goals
- DAY 3 – Providing Positive Motivation for Your Young Athlete
- DAY 4 – Instilling a Confident Mindset in Young Athletes
- DAY 5 – Boosting Performance by Improving Your Child’s Focus
- DAY 6 – Helping Kids Stop Worrying About What Everyone Thinks
- DAY 7 – Teaching Kids No One is Perfect
- DAY 8 – Guiding Your Children as they Cope with Difficult Feelings
- DAY 9 – Dealing with Kids’ Difficult or Negative Coaches
- DAY 10 – Helping Young Athletes Deal with Competitive Pressure
- DAY 11 – Freeing Your Athletes to Trust Their Skills on Game Day
- DAY 12 – Providing Athletes with Positive Support After Defeat
- DAY 13 – Helping Your Child or Teen Cope with Little Playing Time
- DAY 14 – Instilling a Competitive Edge in Your Young Athlete
Get proven strategies form leading youth sports experts!
What are sports parents saying about our mental training program?
“The Ultimate Sports Parent Workbook Program totally changed our families approach to sports and I am so very grateful. My boys 7 and 10 are able to deal better with negative coaches, perform without fear, and focus way less results and focus better the process. One boy was amazingly able to regain composure and end the season with a positive attitude. I am on your web site all the time and am currently beginning The Confident Athlete series.”
~Sarah Bateman, Sports Parent
“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