Five Ways Sports Parents Hurt Athletes’ Mental Game
Sports parents can negligently undermine their kids’ mental game. You might not be aware of the ways you hinder your athletes confidence and composure…
Here are five ways parents may hurt their athlete’s mental game:
1. Dwelling on mistakes.
Do you tend to focus on kids’ mistakes and lecture them after games?
Focusing on the negative will not help your children grow as players, and will exert extra pressure.
This hurts their confidence. Find a few positive things to say after a game, even a loss.
2. Focus too much on the score or the win.
It is common in sports to make winning important, but for your young sports children, this is a no-no. You want them to be grounded in the here-and-now, not focusing on the future.
Concentrate on helping kids focus on the process of playing.
They should focus on specific in-game tasks that could help the team win—passing, rebounding and defense, for example.
3. Yelling directions and “coaching” from the sidelines.
This is damaging for many reasons. First, this will embarrass your kids.
They will feel the pressure of kids and parents looking at them and feel singled out by your behavior.
Further, if you yell at them when they make mistakes or if you tell them to do better or work harder, you hurt their confidence. You want to leave the coaching to the coach.
4. Concentrating too much on sports accomplishments.
It’s only natural to be proud of your children, but often parents of successful sports children flaunt their children’s trophies and accomplishments too much, bragging to friends and neighbors.
This type of behavior tells your kids that success is more important than the process, learning new skills, and fun of playing.
5. Dwell too much on college scholarships and all-star teams.
This can be especially harmful to kids’ mental game because kids will feel pressure and will take on your high expectations as their own.
Instead, challenge them to have fun in sports and make new friends!
Want to learn more about how to boost your kids’ confidence in sports?
Learn everything you need to know about what to say and do before a game here.
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