What To Say to Young Athletes After Mistakes

Communicating With Sports Kids After Mistakes

Communicating With Sports Kids After Mistakes

A sports parent says:

“I feel I need assistance with what to say to kids after they have made a mistake…”

Learning to deal with mistakes is one of the most beneficial aspects of sports psychology, and will benefit your children throughout their lives.

The reasoning is simple:

Perfectionism and fear of failure limit kids’ ability to improve their performance.

On top of that, kids worry about how others will react to their mistakes. Fear of failure or making mistakes can undermine confidence for young athletes.

One small mistake can trip up their expectations and leave confidence reeling. Kids will start to question their decisions and worry about what others think of their mistakes, which will inevitably cause them to make more mistakes!

When they are thinking about the mistakes they could be making or the people who may be disappointed in them, they are not focusing on what matters–their performance in the game at hand.

Mistakes are also important for the pure fact that the more you make, the more athletes learn. Making mistakes is an integral part of the learning process, and your kids need the mental space to make mistakes.

The first thing you should do is talk to your sports kids about the value of making mistakes and that it’s a natural part of sports.

Then you want to identify the source of their fears.

Are they worried about disappointing you or their coaches?

Are they afraid of the consequences of performing badly or embarrassing themselves?

Identifying the fear will lead you to your second task, how to help address the fear.

Poke holes in your children’s fears; ask them to look at the big picture.

Does it really matter if you make one turnover? Throw the ball away one time?

Do you think your coach really expects you to play perfectly?

Here are a few ideas of what to tell kids after mistakes:

  1. You performed well 95% of the game–that’s fantastic!
  2. Flush the mistake: give them the flushing sign.
  3. You’re human, right? Mistakes are part of being human.
  4. We still love you no matter how many mistakes you’ve made!
  5. No one can be perfect and no one will remember your mistakes tomorrow.

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Improve Your Mental Game From Anywhere In The World

We’re certain that, as a parent, you want to help your child develop confidence and discipline in sports and life. And as a sports parent, you’d love for your children to reach their potential in sports. But encouraging your child to strive for greatness without pressuring them can be a challenge.

You can get expert mental coaching with us from anywhere. Meet with us via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or phone call. With today’s video technology, we are able to connect with athletes and coaches all over the globe.

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