A sports dad tells us that his talented 8-year-old golfer gets upset when a player with lower abilities beats him.
“He then acts poorly and Dad is embarrassed. How do you help him to stay focused and learn that losing is part of sports?” asks the dad.
A major problem here:
The player is comparing himself to others.
That’s a real mental game no-no.
Why? When kids compare themselves to others, they’re not focusing on playing to the best of their ability.
In this case, the boy should focus on playing one shot at a time, not on beating other kids. He should concentrate on his game plan for the course instead of on what the other kids are shooting.
How do you help kids stop comparing themselves to others?
First of all, they need to understand how it hurts them. When they compare themselves to others, they’re funneling their energy into the wrong place–other people–and are often psyching themselves out.
They can’t control how well the other players play, but they can control their own thoughts and actions.
So they need to begin by focusing on their own strengths and on playing one shot at a time; one play at a time.
Too often, kids think too much about the score or win.
Kids enjoy sports more and have more fun if they play in the moment and focus on what they do well- and what they should be doing, right now.
Want to learn more about how to help kids who compare themselves to others?
At Kids’ Sports Psychology, we’ve got a helpful eBook for you and your sports kids, “Appreciate Your Talents: Stop Making Comparisons.”
Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology can download the eBook here:
Appreciate Your Talents: Stop Making Comparisons
In addition, at Kids’ Sports Psychology, we’ve got loads of other resources- including eBooks, audios, articles and videos- designed to help you be a better sports parent and help kids boost their confidence!
What do parents and coaches say about our resources?
“I read all your youth sports tips and they have helped me a lot in dealing with my 8 year old boy. Most of the things you speak about I have done wrong in the past so I am glad to be on your email distribution list.”
Help your kids grow as athletes and improve their confidence in sports!
P.S. If you’ve got a kid who compares himself or herself to others in sports (a common problem), be sure to check out our eBook that aims to help kids stop making comparisons! It will help boost their confidence!
Appreciate Your Talents: Stop Making Comparisons
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Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!
Do your young athletes:
- Criticize themselves often after making mistakes?
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- Perform like stars in practice but freeze up or play tentatively during games or competitions?
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