When it comes to sports, parents have the ability to either help or hinder their child’s mental game.

Here are the 7 Biggest Mistakes Parents make in Youth Sport:

1. Lose Sight of Why
It can be easy to disconnect from your why. If you can stay connected to what you really want for your child out of the sporting experience (i.e., life skills, growth, and enjoyment), then supporting their mental game comes a lot easier.

2. Screw Up the Car Ride Home
Ask your child how and when they want to have post- practice and game reflections. When reflecting, the child should speak first and the most.

3. Shoulds and Expectations
Your child is the one playing, so they need to take ownership of their game plan and how they mentally prepare to play at their best. Don’t project your expectations onto them.

4. Not Managing Your Emotions
If you want your child to go out there and be relaxed, yet focused and having fun, then be a role model and have the right mindset yourself. You can use the Alter Ego exercise for yourself.

5. Blaming Coaches
There has been a pretty big buildup of tension between coaches and parents, but we are all on the same team here and all want what’s best for the kids and the team.

6. Tolerating a Toxic Culture
The bottom line is, as a youth sport parent, you are part of the team and you contribute to the culture of the team. The question is: Are you helping or hurting the culture?

7. Neglecting Mental Skills
If you want to help your kid with the mental game, then you need to encourage it, highlight why it is important, and understand the nuances of it.

If you’d like to learn more about supporting your child’s mental game, click the link below for our full set of Parent Resources (assessment, PDF download, and mini video series).