The Importance of Resiliency in Youth Sports

Resilience is a must in sports.

It’s easy for kids to feel their confidence erode if they’re not very resilient. Feeling stressed out can be compounded by mistakes, making kids feel even more stressed. The negative effects can pile up.

Lack of resiliency will also take the fun out of sports for your children, which can hurt their love of sports and their confidence.

Dr. Kate Lund, a psychologist, performance coach and author of “Bounce: Help Your Child Build Resilience and Thrive in School, Sports and Life,” says,

“Kids who face challenges and don’t move forward will always believe they cannot accomplish that task, but if we help to foster resilience and move forward we can overcome that obstacle. This process fosters a belief that it might be hard, but I can accomplish that! When this happens, that thought process and perspective moves with your children to the next challenge. Getting up and trying again is how we learn.”

“One challenge that hurts kids’ resilience is worrying about what others think,” says Lund.

To help kids overcome this issue, Lund asks kids to participate in role playing. They pretend they’re in a situation in which they might worry about what others think. This helps them “unravel” and better understand their feelings, she says.

In addition, you should help kids set achievable goals. If they struggle, encourage them to give it another try.

Encourage them to take risks and get back in the batter’s box after making mistakes. When they succeed, celebrate this success and set another, slightly higher goal.

Learn more about The Importance of Resiliency in Youth Sports by listening to our interview with Lund.

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