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Young soccer players sitting on a bench

Mental Mantra for Parents with Young Athletes

Boys Town Contributor

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.

Sports can be competitive. The competitiveness is what drives athletes and spectators to enjoy the game. But at what age should an athlete be subjected to the pressures of the tough mental grind that co-exists with the world of sports? And who is to blame for the pressures of youth sports? Leagues? Coaches? Parents?

All too often parents who get overly involved in their children’s sports can mentally and physically push their young athlete in ways that leagues (both recreational and select) and coaches would never recommend. Even kids can get frustrated with parental pressure and sometimes quit the sport they once loved.

If parents took a step back and reminded themselves that youth sports is a great learning opportunity for their young athlete then everyone involved would be better off. The wisdom and life lessons children take away from a fun sporting environment are endless. Let coach’s coach. Let children learn and grow. Let “fun” remain in youth sports.

Coaches and young athletes do their part. Now it’s time for parents to do theirs. Here’s how:

Mental Mantra! (Repeat as needed.)

• Watching my young athlete makes me happy because I know he/she is doing something he/she loves.

• There is more to my child’s life than sports like family, friends and education.

• The likelihood of my athlete going pro is slim to none. But what he/she is learning now through sports will last a lifetime.