The Fear of Failure is Often Worse than Failure Itself
Whether or not parents put pressure on their kids, kids will put pressure on themselves. This pressure can result in fears that, if not handled properly, will lead to poor performances and potentially a greater fear of failure. Helping young players understand and deal with fear and anxiety assists kids in not only sports, but in all areas of life.
Failure and fear do not have to go together. Failure is result of trying something and not succeeding. Fear comes from dreading the consequences of failure. Helping kids separate these two concepts allows them to keep fear in perspective. Some ways that parents can help kids deal with fear include:
- Guarantee Love - Make sure that your player knows that parental pride comes from the attempt and not from the outcome. If they know they will have parental support regardless of the outcome, a child is more likely to take chances and risk failure.
- Explain that Failure is a Result of Trying – When kids do not try, they do not fail. If parents are going to encourage their children to try new things, they are also must encourage them to accept failure. Not all new things will result in first time success.
- Remind that Failure and Success are not Permanent – Failing or being successful today does not guarantee like outcomes in the future. In fact, many future successes start with today’s failures.
Kids are often fearful because they lack experience and dread the unknown of failure. When parents help their kids think through these unknowns, they are equipping them with the understanding to overcome this lack of experience.
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Sports Esteem for this article.