If you are a parent I want you to think back to your childhood for a moment and all the fun you had running, playing, and learning about the world around you. Think about how exciting it was laughing, goofing around, and just being a kid. Think about the thrills you had being spontaneous, creative, and trying new things on a daily basis. Sadly, kids today who display the behaviors I just mentioned are now quickly labeled “ADHD,” and most are immediately drugged with psychostimulant drugs to curtail their activity level and transform them into passive, compliant “kids” who more resemble adults than anything else. Does that sound right to you? Are kids still allowed to be kids? Curiously, we …
While it is true that often the differences in wins and losses in sports come down to sheer physical strength and related abilities, you might be pleased to learn that the “mental moments” of sports can be won by less physically able athletes, allowing for wins and successes due exclusively to mental strength.  Furthermore, there are countless mental moments in every game, and every athlete, regardless of size, strength, speed, or quickness can win those moments.  So if winning the mental moments of a game provides athletes with a distinct advantage, the question then turns to how do athletes actually win the mental moments? Mental toughness The term “mental toughness” is a generic term often ascribed to a variety of …
The sport experience is full of ups and downs, but it is in the times of difficulty where athletes must battle back mentally in order to play their best.  When athletes compete below their previously established achievement levels over a period of time the poor play can sometimes be referred to as a sports slump.  The challenges athletes face is two-fold — first, playing consistently well enough to avoid slumps, and second developing the resiliency and skills needed to quickly break slumps as they occur. When it is — and isn’t — a sports slump Before discussing ways to break sports slumps, it’s important to understand how to appropriately frame what is and isn’t a sports slump.  The easiest way …
As a sports parent, how do you know when to push your child through challenging situations, and when to pull back?  Should you push your daughter to play through pain?  Should you pull back on signing your kid up for sports teams when it’s clear that he is no longer having fun playing the sport?  These are just a few of the questions I regularly receive from sports parents who are unsure when to push versus when to hold back. First, it’s important to operationalize the terms I am using for this article.  “Pushing” is defined as encouraging your child through hearty praise and positive reinforcement.  “Holding back” is defined as actions designed to slow things down, re-examine situations, and …