Athlete's Mental Toughness is Key to Sports Success
Currently, you will find travel organizations and teams that host tryouts for kids as small as 10 years old. There exists just way more push and pressure on kids at playing sports. More than ever it is crucial that parents know how to ensure that their children in sports build life skills and confidence through competition.
As parents and coaches there are some simple, but critical things you can do for your kids in sports that will make a huge difference in their happiness and success in playing their sport.
1. Unconditional Support
I put unconditional support first, because this is so important for any kids in sports. You simply cannot over do unconditional support. The difficulties begin when youth sports parents and coaches only praise after a win or good performances. They think that is proper encouragement, but all that does is give the idea to the child that your recognition and admiration is reliant on a superior performance.
Instead just simply express your happiness and pleasure from just watching them play their sport. You could say for example, "Way to go on that home run" or what could be more heartening would be to say something like, "I appreciated the self-assurance I saw when you were hitting the ball up there."
2. It isn't only about the winning but also building mental toughness
First query yourself as to why you want your kid to play sports in the first place? Most sports parents and youth coaches agree it is to have enjoyable experiences with friends and build mental toughness not only for sport but for future life challenges. Your children can accomplish this whether they win or lose and there's a case to be made they can learn a lot more from losing sometimes.
3. Proper nutrition as part of youth sports program.
Regrettably, this is one of the most overlooked areas of national youth sports programs. Your children are out there exercising their bodies and sweating up a storm. It is very essential you keep them hydrated with water, not those florescent sports beverages. Avoiding sugary snacks is also critical because they spike their blood sugar then bring them crashing down. The moment their commit error in the game, it will leads to frequent poor execution also known as anxiety in sports performance.
4. Sleeping Enough
It is easy for parents of kids to forget this, because there is "only so many hours each day" and they have schoolwork and family obligations as well. They are also anxious and frazzled out about keeping up their schoolwork as well as giving their all to their team that they often have trouble falling asleep at night.
They need slow down time and a regular bedtime schedule at night.
5. Approval among peers helps develop confident that leads mental toughness
This is a huge for teens especially. Although you can't force all of your kid's buddies to get along all the time, you CAN check in to see out how they are fitting in with his sports team or group. Some coaches have been known to pit their players against each other to get them more aggressive, but studies show kids do better when there is team harmony. This is very important when you working with girl's teams, since they are very sensitive to relationships.
Bullying is also a big issue in youth sports. Make sure there is a no tolerance policy on your kids team to avoid your child wanting to quit his sport.
6. Defer to their opinion
Just because you know many sports for kids or even played it yourself does not mean you are "the expert" in knowing the greatest way to help your child become a superior player. You know you are on the wrong track with your kid, when you think "Well, it worked for me so it will work for them."
In a book, "The 10 Commandments to be a Great Sports Parent," It instructs sports parents in a number of ways to give advice kids will listen to. You should begin by asking permission with your choice of sports and respecting their "choice of games." If not, you could hurt your relationship and their confidence as well as their sports performances.