Parents Pressure in Youth Sports
Here at the Ultimate Sports Parent and Kids’ Sports Psychology, we receive many letters from parents who are confused about how much they should pressure their kids.
In fact, it’s not an overstatement to say they agonize about this topic…
Agonize, you might ask? Yes. There’s lots to agonize about when it comes to pressuring your kids in youth sports.
Here’s what parents ask:
- Should I make my child go to practice when he doesn’t want to?
- Should I insist that my 9-year-old daughter try playing a sport?
- I can see many ways my daughter’s basketball could improve.
- Should I tell her my ideas after a game? Or would this feel like pressure?
- I often tell my son to score 15 points before a game. My hope is to get him psyched, but lately I’m not so sure I’m helping. What do you suggest?
- My kids got mad at me yesterday for shouting positive things from the sidelines. I thought I was supporting them, but now I find out they think I’m pushing them too hard. How should I behave?
To help answer some of these questions, we recently checked in with Ryan and John, 20-year-old Division 1 wrestlers, about how their parents raised them.
Ryan and John discussed how parents can support their kids, based on their own experiences as wrestlers:
Understand the difference between support and pressure.
Support means attending matches, cheering kids on and videotaping–if kids ask.
Don’t get too technical or over-coach your sports kids. Leave that up to the coaches.
Don’t push young athletes to enroll in sports. It should be their decision.
Help out the coach in any way you can. For example, if he or she needs someone to keep score, ask to help.
Sports parents, you have every reason to agonize about your effect on your child’s sports experience. How you behave is critically important to helping your young athletes feel confident and happy.
Right now, you can find ways to end your confusion. And take the wrestlers’ suggestions one step further. You can learn much more, how to positively motivate your young athletes and how to communicate with them and their coaches.
You can listen to audios about how to talk to young athletes so they’ll listen to you, as well as other audios from sports experts.
And that’s not all, visit Kids Sports Psychology and you can immediately download many sports psychology e-books for your kids, videos about perfectionism and other topics, plus sports psychology articles. And a bunch of other programs!
Yes, you have good reason to agonize. But you also have a way of ending your agony and confusion. Visit Kids’ Sports Psychology today to learn how to improve confidence and success in young athletes:
Kids Sport Psychology Free Tour
P.S. Parents complain to us that they don’t know how to support their kids’ mental game. We’ve addressed this problem by making mental training easy to learn and understand for kids. See how today:
Kids Sports Psychology Free Tour
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