In sports, we train our bodies to be physically strong to accomplish our athletic goals. In order to be a well-rounded athlete and person, we also need to be mentally tough. Resilience is going to get your children through many obstacles in life. Here are some tips for raising mentally tough kids.

  • Let your kids make mistakes. One of the best ways to learn is through natural consequences. For example, if your child forgets his or her homework, the consequence is a failing grade. Let your child know that mistakes are how we all learn and that it’s OK to make them. Tell your child not to be ashamed or embarrassed about a mistake, but rather learn how to avoid that mistake next time.
  • Let your kids feel discomfort. As parents we often want to rush to the rescue to shield our children from discomfort. Sometimes allowing our children to feel that discomfort will help them grow mentally stronger and learn to figure things out on their own. Let your child experience boredom, let them lose, and make them be responsible. You can give guidance without solving the problem for your child.
  • Model gratitude. Show your child how to be grateful for all that is good in their life by being grateful for all that is good in yours. Gratitude helps combat negative thinking and self-pity. Reaffirm with your child all the good things in your lives, and gratitude will become a habit for both of you.
  • Teach your kids positive self-talk. That little voice that we all have in our heads greatly impacts how we feel about ourselves and the attitudes and actions we put out into the world. Teach your child to speak kindly to themselves to have a more positive outlook on life and get through tough times. One way you can foster positive self-talk is by speaking positively to your child and speaking positively about yourself in front of your child.
  • Let you kids face their fears. Encourage your children to step outside their comfort zone and do something scary. Whether that’s facing a fear of public speaking or spiders, allowing your child to experience the discomfort of fear and then stepping into the fear, rather than running away from it, will show your child how tough they can be.
  • Teach your kids to regulate their emotions. You’re not always going to be there to cheer up your child when they are sad or calm them down when they’re angry. Teach your child what their emotions are and how to deal with them on their own to build mental toughness.

Mental toughness can help when it’s time for sports tryouts, during a game, and when they lose or don’t make the team. It’s also critical to be mentally tough off the field. Teach your children the skills to help them achieve on and off the field.

Competitive Edge aims to develop the “complete athlete” using performance sports training in Woodbridge, VA and surrounding areas. Members can enhance their athletic performance and develop a competitive edge to excel in their desired sport.