Why Composure is so Important for Young Athletes

Help Young Athletes Compete Under Pressure

Composure in Youth Sports

Does your young athlete have trouble coping with mistakes?

Do your athletes check out during games because they can’t let go of mistakes? In fact, 35% of sports parents we surveyed said that their young athletes struggle with letting go of mistakes.

In other words, if your kids can’t let go of mistakes, this can spiral into real “mental game” challenges in sports. When this spiral begins, young athletes become frustrated, lose confidence, and get angry or give up altogether.

Some parents have described this syndrome as “checking out.” Their kids stop caring because they are in the grips of frustration and anger. We admit that this sounds harsh, but this is the reality. In fact, some kids, like the one mentioned below, are even threatened with getting kicked off their teams!

In order to be successful, your young athletes need to learn how to let go of mistakes and remain composed. If they can’t stay composed, they risk not playing up to their potential. Then one mistake snowballs into more mistakes, which snowballs into the fear of more missed goals, missed putts, turnovers, lost rebounds….and more bad performances.

This is what it looks like: A young basketball player begins a game with high hopes. But after a few missed shots, he stops shooting. He’s afraid of missing more shots. He stops taking risks and plays very tentatively. He’s not very effective, and starts to feel frustrated–even angry.

Here are classic questions from sports parents about this issue:

“How do I help my child cope with his frustration after mistakes or poor performance?”

“I need help addressing all the challenges regarding my daughter being too hard on herself and crying when she makes mistakes.”

And here’s a quote from a sports parent who’s grappling with what can happen when a young athlete’s lack of composure really gets out of hand:

“My 11-year-old daughter is a pitcher. She loses her composure over errors in the game and lets it affect her pitching. She is on the verge of being taken off the team because of her behavior. How do we stop this?”

OK, enough of the bad news about why kids dwell on mistakes. We can help. To stop the downward spiral that’s prompted by losing composure after making mistakes, young athletes need to learn the secrets of staying composed.

That’s the topic of our latest e-Book for young athletes, “Seven Strategies to Help Young Athletes Stay Composed after Making Mistakes.”

Do we have all the answers? No, but we know the top strategies to help your kids play on with composure after mistakes.

For example, you’ll learn that athletes are more likely to lose composure if they’re perfectionists, or if they try too hard to show others they’re good players, or they have high standards for their performance. Plus other reasons.

You’ll learn a number of tips for helping athletes stay composed after making mistakes, including this one:

Athletes need to change the way they think about mistakes.

Our latest e-Book includes tips for doing just that. For example, sports kids need to replace thoughts that create frustration with thoughts that help them let go of mistakes.

To learn more about our latest e-Book, visit:

Kids’ Sports Psychology E-book Library

All our Kids’ e-Books are free for members. Some are written specifically for kids; some are written for parents. Our free library also includes e-Books about:

  • How to set appropriate goals in youth sports
  • How parents can motivate young athletes
  • How sports kids can overcome perfectionism
  • How sports parents can help young athletes get into the flow
    of sports

Visit Kids’ Sports Psychology to preview our e-books:

Kids’ Sports Psychology E-book Library

You’ll also find videos, articles, audio interviews and much more.

*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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