Sports are a great way to for kids to have fun, get a little exercise, learn new skills and make friends but sometimes the big game can cause a little bit of stress and anxiety. Use these three tricks to help kids stay calm and ready for the big game.
Introducing our daughter to sports had it’s challenges because she is an over-thinker. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to try, learn or participate – something was just holding her back. She loved playing games with her friends but something caused her a little anxiety when it came to organized sports. We actually used these techniques to help our daughter ease her mind before a practice or a game.
1. Try a Bird’s Eye View. Visualizing techniques is a very popular tool used by athletes and is something kids can do easily. Before an event or game, have your child close their eyes and picture themselves playing the game but with a bird’s eye view. Have them imagine themselves making all the moves and using all the skills they have learned and practiced. It’s kind of like they are watching a highlight reel video of the game with them as the star. Taking a bird’s eye view is a great way to help focus on strengths, build confidence, improve performance, and help keep kids calm for their event.
2. Eye of the Tiger. Sorry for the corny Rocky reference but it is rather fitting. Tigers are fierce and focused. For kids, it’s about having complete focus on becoming the best they can possibly be at that very moment. It’s important to remind kids to not get caught up on a mistake they made or might make. If they do, they’ll miss out on the moment and all the fun.
3. Take off the Rabbit Ears. This is one of my favorite tips. Cheers and shouting can get pretty loud at sporting events. It’s important for kids to remove their “rabbit ear” and not focus to closely to the cheers and critics from the crowd. It’s important for them to focus on themselves and just play their game.
**Bonus Tip** Have Fun. I think it goes without saying that kids are out there to have fun. It can be easy to for everyone to get caught up in the heat of a competitive moment but it is ESSENTIAL to not lose sight of the fun. If kids put to much gravity on the game or event, nerves can set in and affect their performance. FUN is actually the secret ingredient for them to stay calm and do their best.
What do you do to help your child stay calm before a game?
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