'The Ultimate Sports Parent' Aims to Help Parents and Coaches Build Confidence and Happiness in Young Athletes

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The Ultimate Sports Parent (http://www.youthsportspsychology.com), a website launched this month by a sports psychologist and parenting writer, aims to help provide kids with a more enjoyable experience in sports by giving parents and coaches tips and tools for building confidence and happiness in young athletes.

With the spring season beginning, sports parents should be aware that about 70 percent of young athletes drop out of sports by the time they are 13. That’s because the kids are no longer having fun.

The Ultimate Sports Parent (http://www.youthsportspsychology.com), a website launched this month by a sports psychologist and parenting writer, aims to help provide kids with a more enjoyable experience in sports by giving parents and coaches tips for building confidence and happiness in young athletes.

Created by Patrick J. Cohn, Ph.D. and his sister, writer, coach and sports mom Lisa Cohn, The Ultimate Sports Parent is now offering a free ebook that provides ten tips for boosting kids’ confidence and success in sports. This month, the pair also will launch an Internet radio show, “Ultimate Sports Parent Radio,” in conjunction with Showtime Athletics, a youth sports organization in Portland, Ore. In the future, The Ultimate Sports Parent will offer a workbook and audio designed to improve kids’ confidence and success in athletics.

“Parents and coaches have the power to help children enjoy athletics and stay involved in sports. Our goal is to show them just how to do that,” says Dr. Patrick Cohn, a nationally recognized “mental game” coach.

Award-winning parenting writer Lisa Cohn, a soccer coach, mom and stepmom to four athletes, adds, “It’s not always easy to figure out how to raise a confident, happy athlete. Parents must grapple with our society’s pressure to ‘win’ at all costs. Our programs identify common emotional and ‘mental game’ challenges in this environment and help parents address them.”

In their free ebook, Patrick and Lisa identify the top five challenges for sports parents and the top five confidence-busters for kids. They provide parents and coaches with these and other tips for boosting confidence and satisfaction in young athletes:

  •     Identify and discuss any high or unrealistic expectations that may erode the young athlete’s confidence;
  •     Help the child focus on her or his own goals, rather than worries about what others think about his or her athletic performance;
  •     Encourage the young athlete to concentrate on the process (one bat or one shot at a time) rather than the outcome (the score);
  •     Encourage the child or teen to cope with setbacks by focusing on his or her improvement, not mistakes;
  •     Identify and discuss the child or teen’s negative labels about herself (“I’m too small to be an athlete,”) and encourage her to practice positive thinking; and
  •     Motivate the child to play sports based on his or her interests, not the parent’s or coach’s interests.

Lisa and Patrick Cohn grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. in a family with five children, all of whom played sports.

To download the ebook, visit http://www.youthsportspsychology.com. For more information, contact Lisa Cohn at 503-577-0504.

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