How Sports Parents Hurt Athletes’ Confidence

sport psychology certification

How Sport Parent Communication Can Affect Athletes

Last week, I worked on the skill of “proactive confidence” with one of my athletes…

Part of this lesson on confidence is to discuss what things can undermine confidence, which I call “confidence killers.”

I learned that out of six confidence killers for my athlete, his parents take part in two of them.

These confidence killers were:

  1. Parents making comparisons to other athletes who are doing better than him.
  2. Parents rehashing mistakes or missed opportunities after the game.

Why are these confidence killers?

First, when parents make comparisons to other athletes who are doing better, your athletes feel like they are not performing well enough.

They feel others athletes are doing better than them. And when parents compare their athletes to other athletes, they can feel like they are disappointing parents or parents are losing confidence in them.

Second, a more common mistake by parents is when they talk too much after games about missed chances, mistakes, or lack of scoring or production.

My athletes already know they made mistakes or did not have a good game. Then, parents add more insult by rehashing these mistakes after the game. In some cases, one parent and then another parent later.

You can see how parent communication can affect your athletes’ confidence greatly.

What’s the solution?

You have two options:

The first is to work with your athletes to better handle their parents’ behavior—to react better to what parents say or do.

The second option is work with parents directly to help them understand the impact of their communication on their athletes’ confidence, focus, motivation, and pressure.

I do both: I work with my athletes and their parents to overcome the some of these confidence killers. And you should too.

Keep in mind that sometimes athletes twist what parents say because they interpret what parents say with a negative lens…

I help parents in several ways.

I start with the my tools for parents:

  1. My pregame and postgame tips for sports parents.
  2. A copy of the session summary with their athletes.
  3. A 30-minute meeting to discuss how they can support their athletes’ mental game.
  4. An assessment to “grade” themselves on how well they support their athletes’ confidence and their communication style.

In the MGCP program, I recently added a chapter on how to work with sports parents and their young athletes. MGCP students get all these tools and much more.

You can read more about it here:

Working With Sports Parents

A better option is to enroll in MGCP certification course and get my entire system for mental coaching developed over the last 30 years of research and working with athletes of all ages.

In Chapter 16 of the MGCP program, you’ll learn about how to work with sports parents to improve their communication and better support their athletes’ mental game.

Please contact us to complete an application or learn more about the MGCP program.

If you have not completed the application, you can apply by either:

  1. Filling out the application online: Apply to Be an MGCP
  2. Downloading the application and submitting it, as soon as possible: Download the MGCP Application

Apply to Be a Mental Coach Today!

You can also start with the self-paced program and upgrade to the live course when ready.

Please contact me if you would like to enroll or submit your mental coach application online. You can call us at 888-742-7225.

Learn more about the Mental Game Coaching Certification Program

FYI: The course is not cheap, but can save you a lot of time in the long run when you apply my out-of-the-box mental coaching system and tools based on 25+ years of experience working with athletes.

Please call me if you have any questions at 888-742-7225.

NOTE: Now included in the MGCP Certification is two of our new programs for working with sports parents and young athletes, Working With Sports Parents and 10-Minute Pregame Prep. The Athlete’s Mental Edge Workbooks and AMAP Assessment System are also included.

Leave a Comment