The image of a “sports parent” conjures up different things for different people, but we’ve all heard the lengths some parents will go to in motivating their children to excel in sports. Some go so far, that they undermine the very motivation tactics they’re trying desperately to instill in their children.
As children’s egos are shaped and grow along with them, we as parents want to equip our kids with healthy doses of self-esteem. Sports can be a great proving ground of ability, but an athlete that approaches the game calmly, confidently, and with mental toughness wins not only the competition, but many times can apply this renewed focus to daily life. More important than the outcome of the sport itself is helping our children build and maintain confidence.
The book “The Sports Mindset Gameplan,” is a great local gift for young athletes and their parents to help athletes bring out the most calm, confident and mentally tough versions of themselves. Written by Portland sports psychology consultant Brian Baxter, MA, “The Sports Mindset Gameplan” is designed for beginning to elite athletes, and puts the mental focus back into physical training and performance, no matter what sport athletes or their parents are into.
In the interactive workbook, Baxter guides athletes to improve their performance through regaining confidence after setbacks or defeats. He also coaches athletes through team motivation techniques while also helping individual athletes put their skill sets to work to make them perform their best. If a young athlete goes through the book and uses it to complete the exercises within, the athlete has a chance to harness his or her own mental focus, rather than concentrating on external presuures from the other team, players, the coach and even his or her own parents.
Millions of thoughts are channeled through an athlete’s head, and Baxter helps athletes learn to direct these positively and productively. “This book was written to complement technical, tactical, and physical training. It can help you fine-tune your mental game to improve confidence and performance, as athletes learn more than just the sport psychology techniques used by elite athletes,” Baxter said. “Readers will explore thought-provoking questions and be given power play action steps. They’ll learn more about themselves and find just how mentally tough and confident they can be.”
“The Sports Mindset Gameplan” is broken down into levels to fit each individual athletes’ needs. It follows a pyramid Baxter developed, appropriately called the “Sports Mindset Pyramid,” which guides athletes through athleticism and sports skills up to confidence. At 133 pages, it’s a quick read and may be purchased through Amazon, or in person for bulk orders for teams or organizations by contacting Baxter’s consultancy SpinW, where it may be purchased in hard copy as low as $10/copy. A Kindle version is also available for $9.99.