What Mental Game Challenges Do Young Athlete Have?
A sports parent wrote in and said:
“My 14-year-old is a basketball player and an excellent shooter under most circumstances, but recently he has been missing free throws and shots in the fourth quarter. After the games, he seems dejected and sad, and it isn’t getting any better. How can I help him boost his confidence?”
As sports parents, you are in a tricky position when it comes to your sports kids’ confidence…
You don’t want kids to lean on you to boost their confidence.
You want them to be in charge of their confidence.
It’s not a good idea for you to try to convince them to feel confident by constantly telling them how great they are.
They may rely on you too much for their confidence, which can lead to fragile confidence…
You want your sports children to take charge of their own confidence.
So how do you help your young athletes take charge of their confidence?
Ask them questions that will help them see the positives in their play.
- “What are your strengths in the sport?”
- “How do you help your team?”
- “What have you done well at, even though your shooting isn’t perfect right now?”
The idea is to develop SELF-confidence instead of you trying to make them feel confident. Confidence should be stable and not fragile in this case.
Also, the main issue may not be about a lack of confidence, but rather pressure your athletes feel to make the shots at the end of the game–especially when it’s a close game.
In this case, some athletes worry about outcomes too much, such as missing or losing the game.
These athletes tighten up in big moments because they are worried about failing their teammates or coaches.
So you first have to find out if your athletes are worried about missing or losing the game for the team.
Beware, when athletes under perform, it’s not always about a lack of confidence or poor focus–other challenges might exist “under the hood.”
You can use this one-page test to find out what the real challenges are with your athlete. Download it here:
Please contact us if you’d like professional help with your athletes’ mental game. We do offer one-on-one mental coaching for athletes ages 12 and older. Or start with one of our programs in The Confident Sports Kid series.
Help Your Young Athletes Overcome Self-Doubt In Sports!
The Confident Sports Kid helps young athletes improve confidence quickly and overcome common confidence killers that destroy motivation and fun in sports!
This is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to boost young athletes’ performance, happiness and success… in sports and life!
The Confident Sports Kid program is actually two programs: one that teaches sports parents how to boost their kids’ confidence, and another that teaches young athletes age 8 to 12 how to improve their self talk, avoid negative thinking, overcome expectations that limit confidence, and much more.
What are parents and coaches saying?
“I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful programs. My son Kai was one of the fastest 10 and under swimmers in Southern California and after he “aged up” to the 11-12 group he really lost confidence swimming against the much faster and bigger boys. He started with the Confident Sports Kids series and really enjoyed each and every lesson. He then started the Composed Kid series and built on the important building blocks that he was using from the first series. I so happy to report that Kai was able to swim to best times in each and every event he swam at the biggest and most important meet of the year in So Cal, the Club Championships. Each race he was more calm, composed, and relaxed. The final race was one that he was ranked last and one of his goals was to try for top 16…he was 49th! He cut over 4 seconds off his time ending up in 17th. He was ecstatic to say the least.”
“My wife and I immediately applied your tips and luckily we got a fast response. Our 16-year-old daughter reads like a case study for lack of confidence. She matches the profile your e-book describes: high technical ability and successful in soccer practice but looks like she forgets how to play in games!”
~Glenn G. New Jersey
“I use your tips to help a sophomore high school student athlete. Last night, after I gave him some of your email tips – relax, get in the flow of the game, have fun, play by instinct, etc. – He busted loose for a career high 20 points and 15 rebounds!”
“I appreciate the advice to parents as to how to help your child become more mentally resilient to bullying in sports. The specific advice and scenarios are extremely helpful for any child on a team and very helpful in guiding parents, coaches and administrators in how to deal with bullying in sports. I cannot thank you enough for your input, and I am so reassured to know that there are people like you who are writing articles and doing interviews on such timely and important matters.”
Boost Your Self-Confidence With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Expert mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help your sports kids overcome their sports mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“Ashley wanted me to let you know that she placed very well at her competition this past weekend, thanks to you! She won the short, won the long, and had her personal best. She now looks at her competitions like ice shows and has fun. It is really nice to see her thoroughly enjoying the skate. She is very focused and very confident. We definitely attribute this to you.”
~Brenda Glassco, Skating Parent
“I want to thank you for the great work you are doing with Ty. He seems to be soaring with confidence right now. We are flying out to see him pitch next weekend. He threw well Friday night and is drawing a lot of interest from several Division 1 schools.”
~Randy Sullivan, Baseball Parent
“I wanted to say that your program was one of the contributing factors that has helped Michelle improve her hitting. Last week she had the most relaxed, confident games at bat ever! The mental exercises have started to make things click. The mental program is something she can practice in other facets of life. I am pleased that we decided to invest in your program, the results are showing.”
~Jim Ellis, Michelle’s father
“Dr. Cohn’s mental coaching has really helped our son Justin gain confidence in his riding and teach us how improve teamwork on and off the track.”
~Stephanie Starling, Justin’s Mother
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