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Friday, April 17, 2009

Boosting Kids’ Mental Game Confidence on Game Day

By Dr. Patrick Cohn

We often see kids who excel in practice, but freeze up during games. This can be frustrating and confusing for parents and coaches. What's going on in the young athlete's mind, and what can sports parents and coaches do about it?

First, sports parents and coaches should help young athletes understand that they create their own confidence destiny. If kids begin a game needing immediate results (such as getting the first hit or basket of the game), they're hurting their confidence.

It is critical to remind young athletes that they've been practicing to develop confidence for many years. Don't let them lose their hard-earned confidence by worrying about achieving immediate results!

What's more, athletes need to understand that they'll be more successful if they assume full responsibility for their own confidence before competition begins. This is why it's called self-confidence!

Often, athletes take a back seat approach and wait until they make a couple of plays before they decide how confident they should feel.

If this is how your young athlete thinks, she needs positive results before she feels confident. In other words, she needs to make that great hit or basket before she can begin to feel confident.

If this is true of the young athletes in your life, you can help. Tell them they need to change how they think before entering competition. Tell them not to worry about making that first hit, goal or basket right away!

Instead, they should draw on their many successes even before the game or competition begins.


About the Author: Want to learn simple, proven mental toughness skills that you can apply to competition? Grab my free online mental training newsletter, Sports Insights Magazine - for athletes, coaches, and sports parents:
Dr. Patrick Cohn is a master mental game coach who work with professional and amateur athletes, sports parents, and teams of all levels. Visit http://www.peaksports.com for more information. article by doccohn

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1 comment:

  1. My son is ten years old and this is his second year at playing baseball ( 1A now 2A ). He never played t-ball. He hits the baseball very good at the batting cages or when his dad throw to him but when it's game time he can"t seem to hit the ball. He said he gets nervous. What can I do to help him ? Sandra


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