Boosting Confidence in Young Athletes

Overcome Social Approval

Help Sports Kids Overcome Social Approval

A young athlete writes:

“I am a badminton player and I am finding it really hard to not get shaky or lose confidence when in a game if I miss a shot, my coach keeps telling me that I am I good player and I should believe in myself but then I just get more worried because I know she is watching me. Please help!”

This type of confidence issue is common for sports children…

In this case, it sounds like the young athlete is experiencing fear of failure due to a need for social approval, particularly from the coach.

When sports kids are afraid of what others may say or do if their performance is not perfect, they’re seeking social approval. They want teammates and coaches to feel good about them.

When kids think others expect perfection from them, small failures are unacceptable to them. When they do mess up, they can’t take their minds off mistakes and worries about what others think.

The first thing you and your sports children need to do is identify what the child is worrying about.

Help Kids Stop Worrying About What Others Think by Asking a Few Questions:

“Does it really matter in the big picture if you miss a shot, or lose a single game?”

Question the rationality of the fear…

“Do you think your coach really expects you not to make a mistake?”

Make sure they can recognize this faulty thinking and refocus on the task of playing the game.

Next, encourage kids to focus on the process of playing. For example, tell them to focus on making great shots or being great team players.

If they can take their minds off what others think, and focus on making one shot, one at a time, they’ll feel more confident.

Check out our latest product, “10-Minute Pregame Prep,” for more tips about boosting confidence!

Related Sports Psychology Articles:

Boost Your Self-Confidence With Expert Mental Game Coaching!

Expert mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues in sports with personal coaching. We do mental training with athletes of all levels and ages–about 12 years and up. And mental training is not just for elite or professional athletes.

You can work with us in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone from anywhere in the world. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer

If you are interested in mental coaching, try our free 15-minute introductory session. Contact Peak Performance Sports today with your name, sport, and what mental game challenges you are having.

You can learn more about our mental coaching programs for athletes here.

Leave a Comment