Where Does Sports Kids’ Pressure Come From?

Sports Kids Pressure

Coaches & Friends, Not Parents, Pressure Sports Kids

The number of kids playing team sports is dropping quickly…

To understand the factors behind this drop off, Yellowbrick Treatment Program surveyed 1,000 Americans about pressure in youth sports, says Matt Zajechowski, senior content strategist for Yellowbrick.

Those surveyed were people who identified as having played and participated in youth sports—athletes and former athletes, he says.

“We wanted to see if parental and peer pressure had an impact on youth participation in sports as well as see what kind of effect it had on people throughout their lives,” says Zajechowski.

The results are in some ways surprising. Forty-two percent of respondents says coaches were the biggest source of pressure and 27 percent said friends.

Parents were actually named as the biggest supporters in sports, according to the study.

Thirty-two percent of respondents said Mom was the biggest supporter. Thirty-one percent of respondents said Dad was the biggest supporter.

Coach came in next, with 19 percent of respondents naming coaches as biggest supporters.

The average number of team sports played per participant has dropped by 6 percent over the last five years and participation in all sports is down 10 percent, the study found.

Also interesting is the fact that, according to the study, pressure to succeed in sports has increased over time.

“Millennials were 10 times as likely to feel pressured by their parents than Baby Boomers,” says Zajechowski.

Here at Kids’ Sports Psychology and Youth Sports Psychology, we believe that young athletes’ interest in sports should come from within—not from friends, coaches, parents or anyone else.

Our aim is to help parents and coaches instill confidence in young athletes—not pressure them to succeed.

Resources: Pressure & Youth Sports Study

Learn how you can support your athletes with our new audio program for parents and young athletes:

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

The Composed Sports Kid

“The Composed Sports Kid” audio and workbook digital download program for young athletes and their parents or coach helps kids cope with frustration and anger in sports. Help your sports kids learn how to manage expectations and let go of mistakes so they can keep their head in the game. 

The Composed Sports Kid system is really two programs in one–one program to train parents and coaches how to help their kids practice composure, and one program that teaches young athletes–ages 6 to 13–how to improve composure, let go of mistakes quickly, have more self-acceptance, and thus enjoy sports more

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