Fear of Failure and Youth Sports
A young athlete asks:
“I’m a 14-year old basketball player. I keep holding back on the court because I’m afraid to mess up. What should I do?”
Fear of failure is one of the most common issues in youth sports.
Your children often feel the pressure of the spotlight that sports can impose on them.
They may be worried about disappointing you, their friends, or their coaches. They may worry about embarrassing themselves after all of the work they’ve put into the sport. They may feel an intense pressure not to let anyone down.
ALL of these issues can add up and play a part in making your children fail to perform to their potential because they’re afraid of failing or making mistakes.
When kids play to avoid making mistakes, they perform tentatively, and avoid taking the all-important risks that allow them to excel.
New issues may arise, such as worries about what everyone is thinking of them, and if these issues aren’t addressed, your children may feel the urge to quit the team or the sport altogether.
While they should be concentrating on what they can do to help the team execute plays, they may get stuck thinking about what could go wrong if they make the wrong pass, fumble the ball, or strike out one more time.
Your athletes are worrying about what could go wrong at a time when they should be concerned with how they can make things go right!
When kids avoid making mistakes, you want them to understand why they are avoiding mistakes…
Ask your athletes:
- “What would be so bad if you mess up?”
- “What do you think will happen if you make mistakes in the competition?”
- “Will the coach be upset? Will your teammates be disappointed?”
First, your kids have to let go of worrying about how others might react and what it means to them if they make mistakes.
Second, you want your athletes to focus on what they want to accomplish, such as make a good pass, instead of worrying about making a mistake, such as giving up a turnover.
Help Young Athletes Overcome Perfectionist Challenges in Sports!
Nearly every athlete struggles with some form of perfectionism or fear of failure.
Kids who look like stars in practice will often choke up or under perform during games or competition. Other athletes expect too much of themselves—then get frustrated when they don’t meet their high expectations. Or they’re extremely hard on themselves.
In all cases, this causes young athletes to play it safe. They refuse to take the important risks that help them excel and improve their confidence. Suddenly, they’re held back by fear, indecision, and hesitation.
Learn how to help young athletes overcome the difficult cycle of perfectionism, fear of failure and loss of confidence. You can stop guessing about what to do and say to your athlete!
Our program: “Sports Parents’ Top Dilemma: Helping Young Athletes Kick Perfectionism and Fear of Failure,” will walk you through the problem and arm you with practical solutions you can start implementing today.
You’ll start seeing changes in your young athlete’s confidence almost immediately.
Make your role as sports parent more enjoyable and easier! We tell you how to help your young athletes:
- Let go of mistakes more quickly
- Accept feedback better
- Stop criticizing themselves
- Perform more freely
- Think more creatively
- Stop worrying about what others’ think
- Dramatically improve their performance and attitude in sports
- Improve their confidence in sports
- They, too, will have more fun and reap more rewards.
“Sports Parents’ Top Dilemma: Helping Young Athletes Kick Perfectionism and Fear of Failure,” consists of two parts:
- A 23-page e-book that identifies the challenge, explains why it is harmful to young athletes (but also very common), and gives in-depth, step-by-step “sports psychology” tips for helping kids. Download this instantly!
- A 21-page kids’ sports psychology workbook that is intended to help your kids identify beliefs and expectations that are the root of perfectionism. It will also help them develop strategies to play more freely with less fear in competition.