Help Young Athletes Cope With Pressure
A parent asks, “What are two simple things that I can say to (my player) before the game that will help and not create stress?”
Just before a game, tell your young athletes to avoid thinking about the score or the outcome.
When kids focus on the score, the win or their stats, they will feel the stress or pressure of wanting to win. This is not a good mental game strategy.
And it goes beyond the stress of winning or performing well…
Kids worry about the aftermath of the outcome. “Will my parents be upset if I lose?” Or, “Will I get punished for having poor composure?”
Instead, kids need to focus on how they can execute the tasks associated with their role right now.
For example, if they’re point guards, they should focus on controlling the ball down the court.
If they’re soccer goalies, they should focus on tracking the ball, staying in position, and reacting to the next shot—and they shouldn’t worry about what happens if they don’t make the save.
A second important message for young athletes is: “Have fun out there!”
If kids can focus on having fun and enjoying the experience, they’re more likely to feel more confident and have a positive experience.
If they understand that you want them to be happy and have fun, they’re more likely to loosen up and take risks, which are key to performing well.
Keep in mind that kids put enough pressure on themselves just before a game. You don’t need to add to it! You should avoid reminding them about past mistakes or telling them you want them to be the lead scorers.
What do parents and coaches say about our resources?
“Using your resources from the Kids Sports Psychology website, especially the worksheets, my son became much calmer and more focused during competition – he was able to ‘close the book’ and perform instead of worrying what others thought.”
~Jane, sports parent
We are busy working on a new mental training program for parents and their athletes that we think you will enjoy because it doesn’t take a lot of your athletes’ time.
It’s called “10-Minute Pregame Prep: 8 Mental Toughness Lessons for Young Athletes.” We’ll have more details soon!
Right now, please let us know what your athletes’ top challenges with pregame prep by completing these quick questions:
Available Now: “10-Minute 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!
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Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!
Do your young athletes:
- Criticize themselves often after making mistakes?
- Freeze up and look scared when faced with competitive pressure?
- Lose confidence after working with a negative coach?
- 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?
“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
“We have purchased all of your CD’s, my child has gone through The Focused, Confident, Composed, and Fearless Athlete Programs. And I just listened to the Ultimate Sports Parent CD. I can’t tell you enough how helpful these have been. My child just played in a major competition and he maintained total composure, fought in competition mode not training mode, was totally confident. THANK YOU! I really believe that God lead me to your web site.”