What’s Hurting Your Player’s Performance?


miss_the_mark_postParents can have a tremendous impact on helping their child get into and stay with sports activities. Kids develop at different rates and even though two kids are the same age, there can be as much as six years of physical difference between them. Differences in physical ability and skills can affect the confidence that young kids have. This confidence then has a big influence on a child’s attitude towards playing. From the sidelines, many things that parents often attribute to lack of “hustle” or perhaps a bad attitude are often due to problems in other areas.

Parents need to be open to looking at these other areas that might be affecting their child’s enjoyment and performance.  After a game, some areas to consider are:

  • Were there external distractions, such as problems at school or with friends or siblings?
  • Were there physical difficulties, such as an illness, lack of proper nutrition, or insufficient rest?
  • Is there a diminished lack of interest in the sport caused by burnout or a lack of time for other activities?
  • Is physical conditioning in areas such as stamina or strength adequate for playing an entire game?
  • Does a lack of fundamental skills hinder more advanced play?
  • Is there a good understanding of strategy and positioning so that a young player knows how to react in specific situations?
  • Is the child playing at the right level of competition? Playing with kids who are much more or much less talented can be demotivating and slow improvement.

If it is not clear what the problem is, parents should have a positive conversation with their child or with the coach to better identify the problem and the necessary corrective actions. Sports are learned activities and require time to master. Parents must be patient in helping their child and must avoid over-correcting. The age of the player and the length of time between events give parents plenty of opportunity to take the right actions.

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Sports Esteem for the above article.


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