Top Mistakes Parents Make Before a Game

Parents Pregame Behavior

What Parents Shouldn’t Do Before a Game

Parents, to boost your kids’ confidence and help them focus prior to games, it’s critical to know what to do and say before a game.

It may not be obvious how to act and what to say. Let’s start with some basic ideas for your pregame behavior:

Just before a game:

1. Don’t over-coach your kids, telling them where to plant their feet, how to make a great pass, or how they should stand to make a free-throw. These details only fill their heads with information that distracts them.

Just before a game, they need to trust in what they’ve learned and just go for it.

2. Don’t remind young athletes of the mistakes they have made in the past. Don’t say things like, “Don’t make another turnover like you did at the beginning of last game!” or “Try to avoid tripping over your feet again!” Such statements undermine kids’ confidence just before a game. We don’t want them to think about past mistakes, which can hurt their confidence.

You want them to focus on what’s happening right now—the warm up or the first moments of the game!

3. Don’t say things that suggest you want your kids to perform or play perfectly. Avoid statements like: “Let’s not miss any shots this game!” or “Let’s try for a perfect performance.” This only pressures kids, especially if they’re perfectionists.

You want them to feel like they are able to make mistakes.

4. Along the same lines, don’t heap expectations on your kids. Avoid statements like “I want you to be the top scorer today!” Young athletes will pick up on your expectations and adopt them as their own. Again, this pressures them and causes them to get frustrated easily.

Instead, help hone their focus on what’s important: one play at a time.

If you avoid these top mistakes before your young athletes’ games, we promise your kids will feel more confident and free to perform intuitively!

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

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.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.