Tips to Ensure Your Kids Excel in Sprots
We all want our kids to excel in sports. But exactly what does it mean to excel — and how can parents best help young athletes? It’s all about perspective.
Read on to learn great tips for ensuring your kids excel in ways that help them stay in sports and reap all its benefits.
Too often, well-meaning parents lose perspective in youth sports. We admit it. We’ve done it ourselves. We’ve found ourselves yelling from the sidelines, enrolling our kids in too many athletic camps, traveling teams and training sessions. We’ve criticized coaches and felt competitive and jealous about the success of our kids’ team-mates—just to name a few no-nos.
Sure, we’re all human.
But here’s the problem:
If we can’t retain some perspective about youth sports, our kids are the ones who suffer.
They get burnt out and lose their love of sports. Says Dave Giffels, a coach who speaks to basketball and football teams, “Parents are grooming kids to play Division 1 or be big-time players. They lose perspective on whether their kids will be the next Michael Jordan. They lose focus on what sports are all about.”
Here at Kids’ Sports Psychology, we like to remind parents about what sports are all about. We remind you that kids learn life lessons from sports. They learn about working as a team. They acquire important social skills and they discover how to lose with grace–just to name a few. All these skills help them succeed as adults and in the workplace.
So, we’re back to the original question:
What does it mean to “excel?”
We believe excelling means learning these critical life lessons, having fun and learning new skills. How can we as parents best ensure our young athletes excel and get the most out of youth sports?
First of all, take a step back. Ask yourself:
Are you too invested in your child’s success?
Be honest with yourself. Understand that if you’re too invested, your child may feel pressured or may play simply to please you. These will undermine the child’s performance and enjoyment of sports.
Second, try to strike that delicate balance between being over-invested and under-invested. Be a good cheerleader, which means cheer for all the members of the team–not just your child. Support the coach. Don’t try to coach your child yourself–especially during practices and games. If you do, your child will feel confused about which “coach” to listen to.
Help your child focus on playing in the moment, rather than on the score or win. This will help your child take more risks, perform better and enjoy sports more. If you’d like to learn more about being the ultimate sports parent, we’ve got loads of resources for you at Kids’ Sports Psychology.
For starters, we have e-books written specifically for kids, parents and coaches. Plus videos for kids, parents and coaches, expert interviews, articles and more. For example, exclusive Kids’ Sports Psychology members have access to:
- E-book for young athletes: Growing from Adversity: How to Stay Confident After Failure
- Inside the Minds of Young Athletes Video Series: Interviews with young athletes and commentary about their mental game from Dr. Patrick Cohn
- Expert Interviews, like our new interview with Giffels about the need for parents to retain perspective.
Here’s what members are saying about Kids’ Sports Psychology:
“I especially like the mental game videos that we can watch together. I think the pre-game stuff is cool and the lessons on confidence, coping with doubt, and trust are worth their weight in gold.”
~Dr. Adam Glantzman, Sports Parent
Help your kids make the most of their talent, have fun and stay in sports!
Kids Sport Psychology
P.S. Exclusive Kids’ Sports Psychology members can listen to our interview with Giffels by clicking here:
Youth Sports Interview with Coach Giffles
Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!
Do your young athletes:
- Criticize themselves often after making mistakes?
- Freeze up and look scared when faced with competitive pressure?
- Lose confidence after working with a negative coach?
- Perform like stars in practice but freeze up or play tentatively during games or competitions?
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~Sarah Bateman, Sports Parent
Help Your Young Athletes Let Go of Mistakes and Cope With Frustration!
Do your sports kid shut down or act like the Incredible Hulk after they make just one mistake that no one notices?
Are you fed up with your young athletes’ self-destructive behavior?
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The Composed Sports Kid system is 2 programs in one.
- 1 program to train parents and coaches how to help their kids practice composure
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What are parents and coaches saying?
“He Has Really Benefited From The Program”
“I recently purchased The Composed Sports Kid CD program for my son Jonathan who is 10. He is a skilled soccer player that was having issues with loss of control on occasion during games. He has really benefited from the program. He carries himself much better these days and even talks about his composure after the game to me before talking about the goals that he scores.”
~Dave, Sports Parent