How to Help Your Child be More Competitive
In this article for parents, youth sports psychology expert Patrick Cohn answers a reader’s question. The question submitted by James W is: “What is the best way to get your kids to be more competitive?”
Here is Dr. Cohn’s answer: Let me first say that confidence and competitiveness are two different mental game attributes.
- Competitiveness is the ability to like competition and thrive in close games.
- Confidence is the belief in your child’s ability to play well.
Most kids love competition. So be careful not to confuse the two concepts. Some parent think their kids hold back because they are not competitive. Most often, kids hold back due to a lack of confidence in ability.
Some kids do not play with assertiveness because of fear of failure or worry. Your first step is to identify what may be holding them back. Ask your child questions and tap into your child’s motivation to play. Maybe you will find out that he/she just wants to play with friends and does not love the competition.
As for your child playing with confidence, a common obstacle that holds many players back is fear of what his/her coach or teammates will think if they make a mistake. Ask your child questions and you will be on your way to helping them be more competitive and confident.
Special thanks to Dr. Cohn for answering James’ question. For more information about Dr. Patrick Cohn, visit his website Peak Sports Performance.
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