Pregame and Postgame Tips for Sports Parents

Youth Sports Psychology

Are You Helping Or Hurting Sports Kids Before Games?

Just before a game, sports parents can significantly boost their kids’ confidence and focus—or they can rattle kids’ nerves.

The hours or moments before a game begins can make or break your kids’ experience…

If you spend a lot of time reminding them of past mistakes, nagging them to remember a new skill, or focusing on the mechanics of their sport, you’re not doing them any favors.

Instead, you want to help them trust in their own abilities. Know how much they want you to talk before games. Tell them to “Have fun” or “Trust your practice.”

In addition, be sure to let your kids know that you love and appreciate them no matter how they perform. And don’t over-coach or over-analyze your young athlete just before the game.

Less is better.

And when the game is over, you also should be careful about what you say to your sports kids. Dwelling on their mistakes or failures can instill perfectionism—an issue we see my athletes today!

Instead, be sure to make at least two positive comments about your sports kids’ game or performance. For example, you might say, “You were a great team player today,” or “You really put your heart into defense today, and it paid off.”

You might ask your sports kids to identify what they did well. Don’t dwell on their mistakes. Your kids are well aware of what they did wrong! And avoid focusing on statistics or scores. Don’t go over the game play-by-play unless your kids obviously want to have this discussion. If they seem like they don’t want to talk about the game, help them shift gears into other areas of their lives.

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Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!

The Ultimate Sports Parent

Every day, we receive letters from parents like you who want their children and teens to excel in sports. However, these parents can see fear, doubt, and frustration on the faces of their kids who struggle with the “inner” game of sports. But these parents have no idea how to help their kids overcome the worries, expectations and self-defeating thoughts that prevent their young athletes from feeling confident and successful.

You can benefit from our 15-plus years’ of work in sports psychology and sports parenting research. Now, you can tap into our secrets to sports success through a cutting-edge, 14-day program that helps young athletes overcome the top “mental game” challenges that sports parents face—and the top challenges young athletes face.

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