Ultimate Sports Parent Radio (www.youthsportspsychology .com), which aims to instill confidence and success in young athletes, interviews Dr. Patrick Cohn, leading "mental game" coach, along with parents and popular youth coaches from Showtime Athletics, Portalnd, Ore., to provide sports parenting and coaching tips. Episodes address "mental game" issues such as fear of failure in young athletes, how playing time affects confidence, and common confidence busters. Email us your questions!
When Girls & Moms Make Comparisons in Sports
Often, girls and young women compare themselves to their teammates or opponents, which hurts their confidence in sports. Mothers also compare their daughters to others in their sport, creating additional challenges for the girls, says Breanne Smedley, a certified female athlete Confidence Coach who works to empower female athletes.
Help Sports Kids Avoid Freezing Up During Competition
When parents and their young athletes gain some understanding of how the nervous system works, they can better cope with fight, flight and freeze reactions. Sports performance consultant Pomai Miyata explains that nervous energy can be helpful. But when kids freeze, their nervous system is working against them. She gives tips for helping kids who tend to freeze up.
Should Parents Only Focus on Fun in Youth Sports?
Often, parents focus too much on ensuring their kids are having fun in youth sports, which results in kids dropping out if the experience isn't fun or entertaining, says Jonathan Edwards, Olympian, speaker, coach and author of "An Athlete's Guide to Winning in Sports and Life." But kids don't drop out of math or English when they're no longer fun. What should parents focus on instead?
What Hurts Girls’ Confidence in Sports? And Mom's Role?
Body image worries. Fears of excelling and being chosen to lead. These issues undermine girls’ experiences in sports. Girls and young women not only worry about how they look; they’re concerned that other girls will be angry with them for doing well and being chosen for leadership positions, says Breanne Smedley, a certified female athlete Confidence Coach, former college volleyball player, youth sports coach and founder of The Elite Competitor. Girls and young women also mirror their mothers’ confidence issues, she says.
Three Activities That Boost Resilience in Sports Kids
Communicating feelings, deep breathing and exercise are just three activities that help boost resilience in sports kids, says Dr. Randall Bell, a former youth sports coach and sports parent, a socio-economist and author of "Post-Traumatic Thriving: The Art, Science, & Stories of Resilience."
Coaches and parents can help kids bounce back after setbacks by encouraging them to talk about how they feel, helping them practice deep breathing and ensuring they get exercise. It's also important for coaches and parents to acknowledge kids' feelings and use positive language, he says.
Coaches naturally help accomplish these goals by providing an outlet for exercise, holding team meetings and being good listeners, he says.
Remember: It's the Kids' Journey
Parents need to remember that sports should be the kids' journey, not the parents', says Amy Oliphant, a former Division 1 tennis player and founder, Transcend Mental Training, which provides mental conditioning coaching. What other tips does the youth sports coach and mom to four athletes suggest? Kids should play multiple sports, rather than specializing early and should help young athletes focus on the process.
Every Sports Parent Needs This
I really enoyed this podcast. The information is essential if your kids participate in sports. You learn how to respond to your kids and deal with many of the issues that parents face.