1. Your child might have another agenda than you
Mental TIP: Ask your child why they participate in their sport, and ask what the child feels he/she gains from it. Ask what is the best, most fun and exciting part of their sport. Take note of these answers and use these next time you give your child feedback on their performance. When you take part in their answers, you show empathy and you can more easily talk directly to your child and thus better motivate them.
2. Your child just want to have fun
Mental TIP: It is not a given that your child is doing sports to become the next national or international star. Most youth players do their sports because they think it is fun and because they want to be social with their friends. As a parent you have the unique opportunity of making your child’s experience with sports better and more developing of their health and abilities. Remember that the cornerstone in your child’s motivation is happiness and fulfilment.
3. Use positive reinforcement and positive feedback
Mental TIP: Compliment your child’s thoughts and opinions with positive feedback and positive enforcement. For example:
– Normalize the negative experience in sport – Use reciprocity with your own experiences in sports
– Highlight the positive elements in all matters
This helps the child to build self-esteem, confidence and mental strength and the feeling of they can do it themselves.
Remember that your communication must have the purpose of creating or developing mental skills for your child and not pin-pointing their mistakes and flaws. All children and kids do this enough themselves.
Ask yourselves: What can I do to increase the confidence and well-being for my child, so that they naturally want to share things and experiences with you.
4:Remember that your child probably already has one coach
Mental TIP: You do not need to be their extra coach. It is better for you, your child and your interconnected relationship that you are the thoughtful, listening and non-judgemental parent who supports and engages positively in their sport.
Thus, try and take the position of being an observer instead of being interfering and wanting to give the answers and verbal cues. Let your child try things on their own.
This way you can also enjoy the game much more.
Athletes in sports
Millions of sports players worldwide are trying to become professional in football and striving to be the best. Very few of these players are ready and equipped for the mental obstacles and hurdles they will experience in professional sports.
Sport psychologists are increasingly helping athletes with their performance and mental states.
Throughout the last years we have seen world class players like Andrés Iniesta, Gigi Buffon, Michael Carrick and Danny rose talking out about the mental part of football and sports.
All players will throughout their career face difficulties, resilient and obstacles.
In Andrés case, he took to professional help from a sport psychologist and mental trainer, that help him find him selves and made him perform at his best afterwards.
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