From The Bench…
SLUMPS, FEARS, AND BLOCKS:
WHAT CAN YOU DO AS A PARENT?
It happens to all athletes, from the elite and professionals as well as amateur and recreational performers. His or her “normal” consistently decent level of performance is suddenly hijacked by a slump, fear, or block. For no apparent reason, your child athlete can’t seem to buy a hit, make a shot, go backwards on a beam or move the way that you know he or she is fully capable of.
As your child’s performance does a nose dive, so too does the level of self-confidence among him or her. They’re flooded with self-doubts and find themselves over-thinking everything! While slumps, fears, and blocks are a regular and common part of ALL sports, there are some things that you can do to help lessen their negative effect! Today we will focus on how to handle these challenges with your child athlete.
When our kids fail and struggle performance-wise, what they most need from us as parents, is our unconditional love and support! As a parent our first instinct is to try to “fix” the problem or “coach” them as to what they’re doing wrong and what they need to improve or work on! There is a time for that, but in the face of failure they do NOT
need your criticism! Be careful that you do not express frustration, disappointment, and anger! They need your love and support, PLAIN and SIMPLE! Parents who “love” their kids more when they’re performing well and then withdraw that love whenever the child struggles or fails, create the most powerful form of performance anxiety there is! If you get frustrated and are visibly unhappy when they fail, then the next time they compete, there will be a lot on the line for them. They will assume that they will be performing for your love and happiness! If the lovability in your eyes is at stake every time I step into the batter’s box or get up on beam, then they am going to be overwhelmed by what’s at stake and, as a consequence, struggle BIG TIME!
When your kid fails or falls into a slump, be there for them emotionally. Be kind and gentle. Be empathic. Step into their shoes and allow yourself to feel what they’re feeling. Don’t judge them! Hug them! Help them keep things in perspective. Encourage them to keep believing in themselves and working hard. Help them understand that these tough times are part of the journey! And genuinely let them know in your words, but more in your behaviors that you will always be right there beside them for the journey and that they can count on you for loving support!
Just a reminder – to participate in any FEAST Athletics; you will need a Patriot Pass, which allows your entire family access to all FEAST activities for a full year. We never wish the Patriot Pass to become an economic burden to anyone, so if it is for your family, contact us so that we can work out an arrangement.
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