Some of the most common questions we receive from sports parents are:
“When should kids start a sports psychology coaching program?”
Does my child have to have a problem to start mental training for sports? How serious does my child have to be about sports to benefit from sports psychology?
First, not all young athletes can benefit from sports psychology or mental coaching. Some kids are not interested in doing mental training because they don’t understand it or they think it’s only for problem athletes. Likewise, they might not be competitive athletes. Many athletes participate in sports for social reasons and are not motivated to improve their mental or physical skills, or have the need to.
Second, at Peak Performance Sports, we work primarily with competitive athletes who want to improve their performance. We’ve worked with athletes as young as 8 years old. However, this is more rare than the norm. These athletes were competing nationally at the time. At this age, we tend to work with athletes and parents equally.
We think it is important for parents to understand how to help their kids grow confidence and other mental skills for success. We want parents to understand how they can influence their athletes’ mental toughness in sports.
We suggest the best age you should introduce sports psychology to young athletes is typically around 10 to 12 years old–depending on the athlete. Kids are mature enough at this age to understand the concepts we teach and why they are participating in a mental training program. However, we suggest to parents that they introduce the idea and get their athlete’s commitment to mental training.
You want kids to engage in sports psychology coaching for the right reasons. For example, if they are forced to do it by a parent, they will not reap the benefits of mental coaching. If they view sports psychology coaching as remedial or that it’s a sign they have something wrong with them, it’s less likely they will participate. We find that kids who may not understand it, will simply avoid it.
When parents contact us about doing mental training with their kids, the first question we ask is:
Does your athlete want to do this and do they understand what sports psychology if for?
We help parents introduce the idea to their kids. We give them a short mental toughness assessment and a short eBook to explain sport psychology and help kids embrace it. It’s important for your athletes to be ready and receptive to sport psychology coaching.
Many parents do contact us already having discussed the idea of doing mental training. In this case, we ask to meet with young athletes for 15 minutes via phone or Skype to assess if they are a good fit for mental training. This is an additional step we take to ensure your athlete is ready and willing to participate in a program. Unfortunately, we’ve had to turn down some parents as we felt it was not a good fit or the athlete was not ready for mental training.
If you’re interested in exploring mental coaching for your athlete, please contact us at Sports Psychology Coach and request our complementary one-page mental game assessment and to schedule a 15-minute introductory session. Here’s a related article: When Are Kids Ready for Sports Psychology?
- Read more article about sports psychology coaching
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick 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?
“Dr. Cohn did a great job working with my son Joe on his mental skills for tennis. He taught him the mental skills and discipline necessary to move to the next level. Thanks Doc!”
~Mike Withers, Joe Withers Father
“Maggie had such a great weekend. As always, after she works with you she just seems more grounded and focused. She’s less likely to look around and get distracted during her match. She’s more focused on one point at a time. Also, as a parent, I’ve learned to encourage her process goals and not outcomes. Consequently, she played well and won her first doubles match, upsetting a seeded team in a really really close match!”
~Katherine Johnson Cannata, Maggie’s mother
“Since you last worked with AJ in early September, his National ranking has improved from 349 to 148. His tournament record at one point, since talking with you was 17-4, with 3 of the 4 being in third sets or tiebreakers and 2 of those matches being the same player, whom he has since beaten (you may recall he was on an 0-9 losing streak when we contacted you). His tie-breaker record is at least 90% through last weekend when he won the 18s District tournament with a semi and final match tiebreak win. Your help has definitely improved AJ’s results and his on-court demeanor has substantially improved.”
~Dawn Woodman, A.J.’s Mother
“I want to let you know that your “Tennis Confidence” CD program has been extremely helpful to me. I listen to the CDs in the car and the program is helping me overcome a lifetime of tournament performance Anxiety. Thank you!”
~Wing Yu, Tennis Player