When there is pressure to perform, most of the time children get nervous, cracks and chokes. While some children athletes go into a raring mode, they might get too excited. Some may get worried and tense up. The performance might end up negative, or even make them give up the sport altogether—which is a bad thing to happen.
The thing is that not even the best pep talks—the private lessons—will help a child from choking or having sports anxiety. No one can really tell whether the kid will end up with a trophy or just wail in vain. The bad thing is that you may not know how to help the kid overcome the sports anxiety he or she is feeling.
The worse that could happen is silence
There are several ways to deal with this issue. Sports anxiety may happen and it may be the one that can determine a child’s involvement in sports. In order for a kid to have a long and enjoyable sporting career, it is important they would be able to learn how to cope with anxiety.
It may help to know how sports psychology is able to address the issues of anxiety. Knowing how sports psychology can help may give you—as a parent-an idea how to strengthen the nerves of the child engaging in sports. Sports psychology can help you find out what you need to help the child go through it.
Understanding sports anxiety
Sports anxiety is how athletes perceive the uncertainties and threats and how they respond to situations with tension and sometimes apprehension. It is common for the motor skills to be impaired as a result of sports anxiety. This is what is commonly called as choking. Attempting to do some tasks may not be easy for some athletes and in turn may make costly mistakes that can ruin the chances of winning in a game or a particular sporting event.
The athletes can easily waste the effort and the time spent in practicing because of sports anxiety. Athletes can also be tagged by anxiety in another way. The fear of failing as a result of anxiety can make the athletes obsessed about not making the same mistake. The tendency is to make the athlete’s body too tense and may likely to commit the same errors or new ones in the process.
Using anxiety to one’s advantage
Not all kinds of anxiety can be harmful. Anxiety can help an athlete perform well with the right focus and attention towards achieving success. There has been research where negative emotions were used to improve the exertion of effort, increasing motivation, effort and focus on the task at hand.
Anxiety can become negative when the child is filled with nervous energy. The more they have these negative feelings the more they have nervous energy. Building self-belief and self-confidence can affect the athlete’s enjoyment and performance and away from a downward spiral towards failure.
Parents Must Take Action Right Away
Once you notice your child having the symptoms of anxiety before, during or after indulging in sports, make sure you take action right away. Sports anxiety is not something that should just be dismissed as “natural” part of joining a competition. You have to teach your child how to deal with it. This way, you lessen the risk of your child developing the kind of anxiety that will become serious as he reaches adulthood.
Be sensitive to your child’s emotions for they could either harm or improve their performance in sports.