Hello everyone and happy New Year!
We at CAL Sport wish you all the best and we hope that this year will be better than 2020!
Managing Your Expectations
Youth athletes may struggle to meet expectations for themselves, their coaches, and their parents. Coaches are available to help manage any discrepancies between the youth athlete’s abilities and possible unrealistic parental expectations. Parents can gain skills to gauge the appropriateness of their expectations and maintain an open dialog with their youth athlete.
- Do you feel happy when you participate in the sport?
- Do you look forward to practice?
- If not, think about why.
- What type of feedback do you receive from your coach?
- Do you feel any pressure to play this sport or achieve at a certain level?
If you put too much pressure on yourself, you will begin to feel overwhelmed and stressed. This will make it hard for you to know when you need to take a break. If you just keep performing a sport without any motivation or desire, it can lead to possible injuries and can affect your physical health, mental health, and progress in school. You should feel that everyone just wants you to be the best you can.
If you feel an unsurmountable level of pressure to perform at a certain level of expectation, do not feel afraid to speak-up to your coach. You coach will listen so that your voice and viewpoint is being heard. For most athletes, it can be more comfortable to talk about these feelings with your coach. If you feel that your parents are placing too much pressure on you to perform the sport at a higher level than you feel comfortable, it might be a good idea to ask for a discussion with your coach and your parents to explain your feelings and stress level with the sport. Talking about the stress you feel and emotions that occur are very important to help with resolving unrealistic expectations.
- Are you realistic with the expectations of your child’s athletic abilities?
- Do you have frequent arguments with your child about their sports performance?
- Are you more enthusiastic about the sport than your child?
Your expectation needs to be realistic for your youth athlete in order for them to feel a level of success and accomplishment with their athletic efforts. If your expectations are unrealistic, then your child will feel pressured and stressed. Unrealistic expectations can lead to your youth athlete feeling discouraged and unsuccessful. This can lead to a desire to quit the sport. Your athlete wants to make you proud of them. Your child may feel a lot of pressure to achieve in school, sports, and other activities all at once. This may cause them to feel overwhelmed if the stress being placed on them includes performing at a certain level of expertise to meet your expectations.
As parent, if you are too involved in your athlete’s sport it can cause them to develop a dislike for the sport, and they may feel that they are being forced to participate. Give your athlete some space and let them handle their sport with their coach. This can also carry over to their future career choices such as feeling pressure to choose a certain career that you desire for them. Remember to keep an open mind and empathetically listen to how they are feeling.
If you find that you and your child have been having difficulties with communicating about their sports abilities or motivation, it can be a good idea to contact your child’s coach to have a discussion with them together with your child to determine if you have realistic expectations of their abilities or desire in the sport. Ask your child to provide their viewpoint and respect their feelings. Provide them with frequent time to talk to you in a non-rushed, open-minded situation where you can listen carefully to everything they have to say. Respect their decisions and feelings.
At CAL Sports Academy, we want to offer you all the support that you and your youth athlete might need for having these discussions about expectations. Feel free to discuss this with any of the coaches if you want more advice on how to engage in a discussion about realistic expectations for your youth athlete.