Does your child love their sport? On this Valentine’s Day, Sport Psychologist Dr. Eddie O’Connor lets parents and coaches know the best ways to increase their athletes’ love of the game in his most recent FOX17 interview.
Love of the game is increased when:
- The athlete feels competent in their skills
- We all like to be complimented and know we are doing a good job
- Use a 5:1 positive reinforcement to constructive criticism ratio
- The athlete feels ownership over her participation & performance
- Choice increases motivation
- It is a “I want to or get to” versus “I have to”
- Allow the athlete to choose sport, level of play, and training when possible
- Relationships are positive
- Foster friendships on the team
- Parents: avoid pressure, emphasize fun and skill development over winning
- Coaches: be a good teacher; manage your own frustration to create a safe emotional environment where mistakes are opportunities to learn
Dr. Eddie O’Connor is a nationally recognized clinical and sport psychologist, and has traveled the country speaking to schools, universities, teams, business organizations, and academic conferences about how to overcome obstacles to excellence.