Performance Anxiety In Sports? What Youth Sports Coaches Need to Know!

Welcome to the Mental Toughness Academy, where we help youth athletes deal with issues like overcoming performance anxiety. This is a talk from a series on mental toughness, Craig the Mental Toughness Trainer did for the Pacific Northwest Coaches Conference.

The reaction that we're dealing with is the fear reaction or commonly called in the sports world: performance anxiety. You hear it all the time I am sure - they are scared to death. How many coaches see their athletes do wonderful in practice, but can't bring it to competition. They melt down in competition -- right? This is one of the most common issues in sports.

The first thing you all need to understand, while working with these kids is how insecure kids are. They are still trying to figure out who they are, where they belong and their long-term program. They are looking for approval from everybody and they've got a million things going on.

As coaches, you will be better off assuming these kids are insecure when you're dealing with them. Then once you learn that they have some mental toughness and then you can push them. Start at the bottom though, assume they are insecure is my point. It is important to over emphasize encouragement. I probably don't need to tell most of you this, but it's an important thing to remember.

What is heir number one stress in life? Acceptance! Fitting in. If you can remember that and keep it in your mind with everything you say, then you will say the right thing.
This especially important to remember when you're working with them in groups. This is doubly important when you're talking about girls and women, because they come out of the womb with programming of community.

I ask athletes all the time, "Why do you do this sport?" And almost all the girls will say, "My team. My sisterhood. Community." A lot of the girls and women are nodding their heads. That's right. Men, you need to understand this -- okay? That's how you can motivate them. That's how you can get them all on board and this is also what creates their fears too.

Visit to download FREE:

"The 10 Commandments For A Great Sports Parent" ebook
and "Master The Pressure" a GAME-CHANGING guided visualization for teen athletes.

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…