How to Help Your Young Athletes Deal with Failure!

Last Sunday I spent the day coaching 3 baseball games for our sons U11  (Under 11) baseball team. We went 1-2 on the day but the kids played really well for the first time getting outside. It has been so cold and rainy that we haven’t been able to practice outside on a baseball field this spring. I’ll keep you posted as the season goes along.

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How Can You Help Your Young Athletes Deal with Failure?

Have you ever played sports? Had success? Had failure? If you’re like me, you probably had more failure than success, but we’re not alone. Failure is very much a part of sports and learning to deal with this failure is half the battle.

Too many times I see kids crying after they failed at something and I realized something is missing in their development or thought pattern. More times than not, if you’re playing sports you are going to fail. You’ll make more out than you get hits, miss more baskets than you make, or miss more putts than you make. It’s all part of the game.

Unfortunately, kids don’t always realize this and beat themselves up for making a mistake. They will start to lose confidence in themselves and will lose the enjoyment and fun for the sport.

Athletes, young and old, recreational or professional, gather high expectations for themselves and their performance. They feel like they are going to hit the big hit to win the game, throw the most touchdowns in the game or sink that putt that wins the tournament. If they don’t meet these expectations, they are hard on themselves which will ultimately hurt their confidence and performance. And you know, without confidence, failure is inevitable.

What can be done to correct this thinking? Failure needs to be viewed in a different light. You need to convey to them that making mistakes is okay as long as the intension was good. They will learn to stay composed and take more risks. Taking ricks will ultimately make them better players and more successful.

Coach Doug

(Dad of a Dozen)

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