Supporting Teammates in Youth Sports
When kids strike out at bat on Brad Jubin’s baseball team, the other players standing in the dugout raise four fingers to show their support.
This is a great way to lift young kids’ spirits after they make mistakes, says the co-founder of “A Team That Always Plays for Each Other.”
“The other kids are telling their friends, ‘Don’t worry, we’re here for you. There are no words; it’s just a simple gesture to say, ‘We’re here for you.’ As soon as that happens, the kids get a smile and everything changes. The player doesn’t sit and stew.”
Here at Kids’ Sports Psychology, we like this idea. It reminds us of a practice recommended by the Positive Coaches Alliance: When kids make a mistake, coaches and parents give them a “flushing” sign. The sign means, “Forget it, move on!”
On Jubin’s team, however, it’s the kids who give the sign. Jubin’s goal is to teach kids leadership through sports, which, to Jubin, means teaching them how to boost each other up.
Jubin arrived at this goal when he first started coaching baseball. At his first practice, he felt unworthy and self-conscious. He didn’t know much about baseball and had never played it. He decided he did have something to offer the kids, however: he could teach them how to support each other and be leaders.
“What started out as fun ideas to share with kids turned into a repeatable lesson: Kids should always play for each other.
They are there to help each other.”
For example, when kids are throwing the ball, he tells them, it’s not really about throwing. “It’s about making the catch easier for your friends.”
Of course, Jubin’s ideas are great ways to help kids build confidence and improve their experience in sports. What’s also nice about his ideas: They translate easily to life. We bet that his players have transferred many of these ideas to other areas of their lives.
At Kids’ Sports Psychology, exclusive members have exclusive access to our audio interview with Jubin. You can listen to it here:
To listen to the first half of this interview, use the player below:
What’s more, parents and coaches can learn how to build kids’ confidence with our many other resources-including ebooks, audios, videos, articles-and more.
What are folks saying about our resources?
“Dr. Patrick Cohn and Lisa Cohn are to be congratulated! Together, they offer a wealth of knowledge, information, and practical mental tools for sports parents on the substantial “mental game” challenges and pressures facing today’s young athletes.”
~Marc D. Anderson, LCSW, MGCP, Mental Game Coach
Help your young athletes make the most of their sports experience!
P.S. If you want more of Jubin’s ideas for boosting kids’ confidence, be sure to listen to his entire interview here, which is available to exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology:
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