Sports Kids’ Performance and Consistency

Coping With Mistakes

Pregame Routines for Young Athletes

A sports parent asks:

“My almost 13-year-old daughter is very talented, but her head gets in the way. She is a starter at striker. She has amazing games one day and the next she’s a different player, she’s inconsistent. What going one and how can we help her?”

There are many reasons young athletes may not be consistent performers.

These reasons include feeling intimidated by the competition or not having a consistent pregame routine.

Start by asking your athletes what they are thinking about regarding the competition.

Often, your sports kids will perceive the competition as bigger or better than they really are, or will focus on the competition’s strengths instead of on their own games.

Your task as parents is to help kids think about their own strengths–not on the strengths of those they’re playing against!

Remind your sports kids to focus on what they can do to help the team, whether it’s being great team players or strong on defense.

Another solution is to work with your young athletes on creating pregame mental preparation routines.

Consistent mental and physical pregame prep leads to consistent performance…

It’s possible that your sports kids are approaching each game differently, which will lead to different mindsets and different results.

A pregame routine might begin, for example, with these five steps:

  1. Kids should let go of distractions.
  2. Review the reasons to feel confident.
  3. Overcome doubts that creep into their minds.
  4. Establish a game plan.
  5. Visualize what they need to do during competition.

Keep in mind that your kids are human and have lots going on in their lives.

Don’t expect them to perform at their best every game!

Even the pros have bad performances.

It’s unrealistic to expect your athletes to perform at their peak every game.

Injuries, school life and home alike can affect how kids perform in games.

For more information about pregame mental preparation, check out our “10-Minute Pregame Prep” program.

Just 10 minutes a day will help your kids learn how to prepare mentally for games. Learn more today:

*Subscribe to The Sports Psychology Podcast on iTunes
*Subscribe to The Sports Psychology Podcast on Spotify

The Composed Sports Kid

“The Composed Sports Kid” audio and workbook digital download program for young athletes and their parents or coach helps kids cope with frustration and anger in sports. Help your sports kids learn how to manage expectations and let go of mistakes so they can keep their head in the game. 

The Composed Sports Kid system is really two programs in one–one program to train parents and coaches how to help their kids practice composure, and one program that teaches young athletes–ages 6 to 13–how to improve composure, let go of mistakes quickly, have more self-acceptance, and thus enjoy sports more

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