Whether parents put pressure on their kids or not, kids will put pressure on themselves. This pressure can lead to fears that if not handled properly will lead to poor performances and potentially a greater fear of failure. Helping young players understand and deal with fear and anxiety assists kids not only in sports but also in all areas of life.
Failure and fear do not have to go together. Failure is result of trying something and not succeeding. Fear comes from dreading the consequences of failure. Helping kids separate these concepts assists kids in keeping fear in perspective. Some ways that parents can help kids deal with fear include:
- Guarantee Love - Make sure that kids know that parental pride comes from the attempt and not from the outcome. If kids know they will have parental support regardless of the outcome, they are more likely to take chances and risk failure.
- Explain that Failure is a Result of Trying - When kids do not try, they do not fail. If parents are going to encourage their children to try new things, they are also encouraging them to fail. Not all new things will result in first time success.
- Remind that Failure and Success are not Permanent - Failing or being successful today do not guarantee like outcomes in the future. In fact, many future successes start with today's failures.
Kids are often fearful because they lack experience and dread the unknown of failure. When parents help their kids think through these unknowns, they are equipping them with the understanding to overcome this lack of experience.