Do Parents Pressure Kids to be Superstars?
In the world of youth sports, we focus too much on “the next big thing”, creating high expectations.
Eighth grade basketball player Elijah Fisher has been described by his coach at Grassroots Elite (Canada), “Elijah could be the best player to ever come out of Canada.”
Some have said of high school junior quarterback Eli Brickhandler, “He’s the next big thing for quarterbacks in the state of California.”
While such labels may feel like compliments, they also heap high expectations on sports kids and exert too much pressure.
Young athletes feel as if they have to work harder than ever to live up to such labels. In fact, they sometimes feel as if they have to be better than others who are seen as top athletes.
Such pressure can cause kids to under perform or drop out at an early age.
Kids need to let go of high expectations; they shouldn’t be saddled with a lot of pressure from others to be the next big thing.
Kids should instead focus on the process of playing. They should focus on what’s right in front of them.
Suggest they ask themselves, “What should you do right now to perform your best? How can you improve today or this week?”
But some kids learn how to ignore the labeling and do the best they can.
Take 18-year-old soccer fullback Sergino Dest, for example.
Dest, who recently started playing for the US Men’s National Team, also started matches internationally for AJAX, the most successful club in the Netherlands.
Displaying strong mental game skills, Dest was extremely focused on playing his game and improving. He concentrated on a goal: staying on the first team.
“[The US Men’s National Team gave] me a chance in preseason to play with the first team and it went very well. My focus was like, ‘I want to stay there and I don’t want to go back to the second team.’ So I played really well, and they gave me more chances and I succeeded with those chances,” he said.
Kids need to let go of high expectations; they shouldn’t take others’ expectations on as their own. They shouldn’t have to play when saddled with a lot of pressure from others.
Like Dest, kids need to focus on the process of playing. They should focus on what’s right in front of them. Help them ask themselves, “What should you do right now to perform your best? How can you improve today or this week?” Instead of attempting to live up to others’ expectations, kids need to concentrate on being in the moment, and learning and growing. With this attitude, they’re more likely to stay in the game–and enjoy it more.
By focusing on what’s happening here and now, and ignoring others’ attempts to label them, athletes are more likely to perform well and enjoy sports.
Your athletes will perform more freely when they are not striving to reach others’ expectations and superstar labels.
Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!
Do your young athletes:
- Criticize themselves often after making mistakes?
- Lose confidence after working with a negative coach?
- Freeze up and look scared when faced with competitive pressure?
- Perform like stars in practice but freeze up or play tentatively during games or competitions?
If so, check out The Ultimate Sports Parent!
The Ultimate Sports Parent will teach you powerful mental toughness secrets to improve your child’s success in sports.
What’s in “The Ultimate Sports Parent: A 14-Day Plan for Kids’ Success in Sports?”
- DAY 1 – Positive Communication with Your Athlete
- DAY 2 – Helping Your Athlete Establish Appropriate Goals
- DAY 3 – Providing Positive Motivation for Your Young Athlete
- DAY 4 – Instilling a Confident Mindset in Young Athletes
- DAY 5 – Boosting Performance by Improving Your Child’s Focus
- DAY 6 – Helping Kids Stop Worrying About What Everyone Thinks
- DAY 7 – Teaching Kids No One is Perfect
- DAY 8 – Guiding Your Children as they Cope with Difficult Feelings
- DAY 9 – Dealing with Kids’ Difficult or Negative Coaches
- DAY 10 – Helping Young Athletes Deal with Competitive Pressure
- DAY 11 – Freeing Your Athletes to Trust Their Skills on Game Day
- DAY 12 – Providing Athletes with Positive Support After Defeat
- DAY 13 – Helping Your Child or Teen Cope with Little Playing Time
- DAY 14 – Instilling a Competitive Edge in Your Young Athlete
Get proven strategies form leading youth sports experts!
What are sports parents saying about our mental training program?
“The Ultimate Sports Parent Workbook Program totally changed our families approach to sports and I am so very grateful. My boys 7 and 10 are able to deal better with negative coaches, perform without fear, and focus way less results and focus better the process. One boy was amazingly able to regain composure and end the season with a positive attitude. I am on your web site all the time and am currently beginning The Confident Athlete series.”
~Sarah Bateman, Sports Parent
“The Ultimate Sports Parent program is well designed to help parents and athletes come to terms with developing well rounded student athletes. This workbook will help give athletes and parents the competitive edge.”
~Mike Maveus, athlete & youth sports coach