Sunday, May 2, 2010

Youth Sports: Positive and Negative Influences on Performance

Game 29

My dad came to town to watch the kids play sports this weekend. Four baseball games, one volleyball game, one softball game and one soccer match were on the schedule. We ended up watching weather radar instead.

My dad did get to see one volleyball game on Friday night. My son's team lost all three matches. It was painful to watch.

Nic's team is bad, but they usually win one game of the three game match. Typically, my son can secure one win with his serve. His powerful diving serves are very difficult to return. On Friday night, my son was amped up and all but one of his serves went long. There are two possible reasons for this, 1)  he wanted to perform well for his visiting grandfather or 2) he was showing off for a bunch of girls from his class who were watching the game.

The B team does not usually attract girls to the game. The girls only go to the A team games. On Friday night, the B team played on the same court right after the A team, so the girls stayed around to watch. My son would have been on the A team, if he did not commit to 75 baseball games, so I think that my son was playing to prove a point to those girls.

The Main Point

Athletic performance is influenced by so many factors on any given day.
Confidence level, high or low;
Mood, good or bad;
Weather, hot, cold, wet, other;
Injuries, nagging or more serious;
Expectations, internal or external;
Fans, for and against, etc.
Each game is a learning experience from both a physical and mental standpoint. Help your young athletes understand the external and internal influences that affect performance. The awareness may help them focus.

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