Supporting Your Child’s Athletic Dreams

 In Coaches, Junior Athletes & Parents, Professional & Olympic Athletes

Parents always want the best for their children, but sometimes struggle with the best way to support them. It is difficult to find the balance between helping your child achieve his or her athletic dream and ensuring that your child also has fun. It is even more difficult watching your child struggle physically and mentally about a sport. Maybe your adolescent daughter wants to play college soccer but is rehabbing from a year-long season-ending injury that is making it difficult for her to go in hard for tackles. Maybe the son was an outstanding pitcher but now he is frustrated and on the verge of quitting because he cannot find the strike zone. Maybe your daughter loved gymnastics but is now suffering from burnout and refuses to go to the gym. Or maybe your son develops such a terrible case of anxiety before matches that he can no longer play tennis.

All of these issues are common problems that athletes experience. Unlike physical difficulties, the mental aspect of the game is much harder for parents to assist. It often leaves parents feeling helpless and lost.

The good news is that there are ways to help:

1. Offer Support – talk to your child about what he or she is experiencing and normalize it for them
2. Ask Questions – ask your child questions about what he or she needs and what you can do to help
3. Practice Mental Training Exercises – this can include mindfulness and visualization exercises surrounding peak performance
4. Seek Outside Help – if the issues persist, seek outside help from a performance coach

A peak performance coach or sports psychologist can help your athlete alleviate issues on the athletic field or even assist on boosting performance.

Dr. Michelle Cleere
In her own private practice as an elite performance expert, Dr. Michelle Cleere helps top athletes, musicians, and executives in competitive fields unlock the power of the mind and create the mental toughness to be the best. Dr. Michelle’s extensive academic background, which includes a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in Sports Psychology, allows her to help clients deal with performance anxiety, gain more confidence, and build resilience. In addition to personal coaching, Dr. Michelle takes on many roles – a best-selling author, athlete, and teacher. Dr. Michelle’s bestseller line, Beating the Demons, helps clients develop practical skills to gain more control over competitive environments and mitigate the interruption in play to overcome intense odds and defeat adversity. As a 15-year USAT Coach, she developed simple and effective tools to mentally train her athletes, and they are used by coaches around the world. She is a professor at John F. Kennedy University where she teacher her students to use the mind as an ally to improve performance.
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