One of the most common mistakes sports parents and coaches make is giving an athlete pre-game “reminders” and “suggestions”.
Or worse, IN-GAME reminders and suggestions.
It increases the amount of pressure they feel and leads to fear of disappointing you.
It FRUSTRATES THEM TO NO END!
Either way, they are now overthinking...the LAST thing you want to be doing as an athlete.
“Johnny, make sure to do what we practiced today. When you shoot, make sure you follow through. Don’t fade away or off to the side. Now, go get em’!”
Our intention is to help.
Inwardly...your athlete is most likely feeling this:
“Dad/mom is only going to be satisfied if I perform well. I can’t mess up. I need to make sure I don’t fade away. I want their praise and recognition (who doesn’t want that?).”
Outwardly, they may be showing or saying this:
“Duh, I spend 15 hours a week practicing this. I don’t need all of these reminders, ESPECIALLY right before a game!”
And they are right. They DO practice all the time. They have been playing the game for a while now. At PRACTICE is the time to remind them and reinforce the lessons.
If you have done a great job as a coach, game time should be the time you sit back and watch the magic happen.
If you are reminding your players about the fundamentals during the game, you have not done a sufficient job reinforcing them during practice.
3 Rules if you want your athlete to stop overthinking and play to their full potential during games:
- On game day, do NOT talk about X’s and O’s (parents only)
- On game day, keep it simple. “Good luck today Johnny!” Yep, that’s it.
- Pre-game, aim to inspire and relax. Do not fill their head with a bunch of fundamental reminders. Aim to motivate, inspire, and get them to RELAX. The less pressure they feel, the better they will perform (coaches and parents both).
If you take some of these ideas, share them with others, and diligently put them into practice, I can PROMISE you that your athlete will be happier, they will appreciate and respect you more, and ultimately they will perform better.
Dedicated to your athlete’s success,
Coach Andrew Simpson
P.S. If your athlete is ready to have a coach who will inspire and motivate them to be their best without placing that unnecessary pressure and expectation on them, reply to this and let us know.