News & updates
BSF NewsResults
How to Help a Young Athlete Overcome the Fear of Making a Mistake
December 5, 2019
Jenny White

"Three Words that Will Help Your Young Player Overcome the Fear of Making a Mistake." This article was written for Little League players, but it is universal in its application to all young athletes. As athletes enter stressful situations, they can either be hindered by their nerves or learn to thrive. John O'Sullivan, founder of the Changing the Game Project and keynote speaker at the this year's U.S. Ski & Snowboard Club Excellence Conference, provides a stellar tutorial on the purpose of fear and stress and how the body's emotional responses can contribute to reduced performance or how it can help you thrive.

It turns out, it's not about calming down or ignoring those stressful feelings. It's about reframing.

"So how do we help our athletes reappraise their stress? The answer is surprisingly simple. First, we can teach them that the responses they are feeling are actually the body’s way of saying 'this is an important moment for me, I care about this!'"

O'Sullivan also says that they can reappraise those feelings of butterflies and sweaty palms into excitement and opportunity by simply saying, out loud, "I am excited!" This, in turn can help take the focus off the potential negative consequences they may have been apt to focus on.

He says, "As athletes, we’re kind of signing up to do something that’s just going to involve a lot of emotion and a lot of fear and the nerves. That’s the fun part, but we have to be able to kind of take a step back and understand I’m operating in an arena that involves a lot of uncertainty, which means there’s going to be a lot of fear, and that’s okay.”

Read the whole article HERE.