When Sports Kids Rely on Others for Confidence

Youth Sports Psychology

Sports Kids’ Confidence Sources

Do your young athletes seek approval from their peers and coaches in order to feel confident about their abilities in sports?

That’s true of Miguel, a 20-year-old who has played basketball recreationally for many years. He says that when his confidence sinks, he counts on his teammates to build it up.

This is a common mental game challenge for young athletes!

Read on to understand why, and to learn what you can do to address this common problem in sports.

Kids today seek what we call social approval.

They want to be accepted, respected and liked by others. They look to others for confidence too. To some degree, this is normal. But when young athletes rely too much on what others think (or say) of their performance to feel confident, they often end up under-performing.

Sports parents must understand that athletes who need others to feel confident often become anxious or fear failing in competition. They worry about letting others down or becoming embarrassed in public.

This causes young athletes to think they lose approval points by playing poorly or making mistakes. They assume others don’t respect their abilities and thus lose confidence in themselves—a major mental game challenge.

Keep in mind that most of the time your athletes are “reading the minds” of others and don’t really know if others are actually judging them.

To help your young athletes who worry about what others think, ask them to first recognize that they harbor such worries. They should then regroup and tell themselves that it doesn’t matter what others think.

Next, they should change their focus and think about what they need to do now to get the job done. That means thinking about what they can control—their work ethic, their attitude, their ability to improve.

We just launched a new video series, “Inside the Minds of Young Athletes,” and the first video—an interview with Miguel—addresses this and other issues.

In our “Inside the Minds of Young Athletes” series, Lisa Cohn conducts an interview with an athlete, coach or parent, and mental game expert Dr. Patrick Cohn provides analysis about the interview–plus confidence-building tips.

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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.

Call Us Today to Schedule Your Free 15-Minute Session.
Find Out How Your Athlete Can Benefit From One-on-One Mental Coaching!

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