Have you ever sat on the edge of your seat during your child’s game wondering if they were going to make the shot, catch the ball, recover from a mistake or overcome the pressure of a tight game scoring situation?
Here are three basic things you should know about your young athlete:
- Young athletes have difficulty with high stress situations for many reasons. Ask any professional athlete and they will tell you, mental strength is the most challenging which is usually followed by their story of perseverance. A key factor in being able to improve performance in high stress situations is the athlete developing an understanding of their own intricate psychological and environmental factors that affect these game defining moments. If you as the parent are on the edge of your seat during games, you can exponentially multiply that times 100 for your athlete.
- Increasingly young athletes struggle with focus and attention during games and practices. External stimuli can affect athletes in different ways. Athletes must learn what stimuli they need to internalize and what to block out. Understanding how to identify distractions that are extraneous and how to manage them is key in optimizing performance during athletic competition.
- Mistake recovery is crucial in being able to improve game performance. Many times, young athletes mentally repeat the mistake in their head for the remainder of the game which results in a domino effect not only for the athlete but the entire team. Learning how to mentally recover from a mistake is extremely vital in winning a game. Not only does this help our athlete in a game situation but in life by teaching the basic skills to adapt and overcome challenges.
I have had the opportunity to work with a multitude of athletes for several years and find it incredibly fascinating to help athletes understand the intricate mental and psychological factors that can improve an overall athletes performance.
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