What to do When Your Athletes Are Benched

Staying Confident on The Bench

Helping Young Athletes Rebuild Confidence

One parent asks:

“My child was recently demoted out of the starting lineup on his basketball team and has been having troubles playing ever since. What can I do to help him get back in the starting lineup?”

Demotions of any kind can undermine kids’ confidence.

Coaches may demote young athletes because a new player joined the team, an existing player became a stronger player, or your kids are not performing as well as usual.

If your sports kids’ demotions result from their own difficulty performing, it’s likely that they’re struggling with mental game and confidence problems already. Adding a demotion to this can make it difficult for sports kids to rebuild their confidence.

If your sports kids are perfectionists, being demoted can cause a lot of frustration. Perfectionists expect too much of themselves, and when they fail to meet their lofty expectations, they become frustrated and their confidence suffers.

If your kids are demoted because a new athlete joined the team, the pressure of this new competition can also undermine their confidence. They’ll feel pressure to work harder and harder, and will compare themselves to the new player, rather than focusing on their own strengths.

To help build your sports kids’ confidence in this instance, help them set small goals or objectives. Help them focus on the process—not on the score or win. Help them establish achievable mini-goals such as blocking three shots or making two good shots at goal.

Focus on other ways your children can help their team–even if they are not a starter, rather than be frustrated with lack of playing time.

This is a great life lesson for kids, but gets overlooked by parents and athletes.

Encourage them to focus on their own strengths, rather than the strengths of others and how they can get back to a starting role or better position.

If they concentrate on the process, what they bring to the team, and small mini-goals, they can re-build their confidence.

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Help Your Young Athletes Improve Focus In Sports!

The Focused Sports Kid

Are your young athletes easily distracted by people shouting on the sidelines? Do they obsess over their mistakes? Do they worry about what people think of them?

These issues will cause their concentration and performance to suffer!The Focused Sports Kid helps kids overcome distractions that can hurt their performance in sports.

The Focused Sports Kid program is actually two programs: one for sports parents/coaches that provides mental game tips especially designed for parents and coaches, and for young athletes, ages 8 to 12, that will walk them through 7 simple lessons in mental focus in sports.

2 thoughts on “What to do When Your Athletes Are Benched”

  1. I read always that the coach is doing what is best for the team. I have coached for 20 years and have a senior in a new high school. He has already committed to pitch in college. He has not seen any playing time in this new school. I will never ask a cooach about my kids playing time, however I will always encourage my child to ask the coach what he has to do better to recieve more playing time. That is what my 6’5″ senior did. The coach told him that his throws on the infield were a little wild. He pitches and plays first base. I explained to my son that he has to show the coach he has the skill. He locked don his throwing and proceded to sit the next 3 games. He once again approached the coach and said he had worked on the problem and what else does he have to do to see the field. The coach got mad at him and told him about 4 other players and told him he couldn’t throw strikes. Then sat him the next three games. He even played everybody on the team but him. My son has worked at baseball like other kids since he was 3. He has always loved the sport. We are worried that this will impact him getting on the college team when the coach texts him how he did at games my son cannot send him any stats. He just says I have not played yet. It’s 10 games into a 15 game season and we are very worried. Thge coach seems to be crule to him as well. he will tell him to warm up and put a kid already in the field in to pitch. He will tell the whole team that my son will relieve next game and nhas yet to put him in for relief. What does he do. He is a senior and throws in the low 80’s he has the third best average on the team and has not hit in 6 games. He is akind kid and would not rase his voice or even be disrespectful. can this affect next year? his mental health is not getting better either. He spends an hour each night before bed working the tee and doing his pitching routine, but he is broken mentily and wants to stop baseball now.

  2. Appears the coach is playing favorites and not the best pitcher. He should continue to work hard and wait for his chance.

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