ATTITUDE & CONFIDENCE : LUSENET : APA Division 47 Exercise and Sport Psychology : One Thread

My 15 year daughter as freshman high school varisty basketball player had a great season last year. She had an illness at the beginning of this season which delayed her practice time for a month with the team as result she has been somewhat behind compared with her teammates. She really felt she would be a starter as soon as the coach felt she was ready but it isn't happening. But she isn't performing as she was last year. She is a great defensive player but is suffering offensively. She is the type if she misses one shot she takes it so hard. As parent I just encourage to keep trying and work hard, it will happen. She'll work hard then if she doesn't get the results she wants immediately she basically develops the attitude of "what good does all the hard work do." Any suggestions? She has such potential.

-- Ronda Kohrs (, December 16, 1999


Playing at a High School level can be very competitive and intense and I'm sure that it means everything in the world to your daughter. The truth is that in a few years it will be over and your daughter will be moving on to new things and the experiences she had on the basketball team will be nothing but a fond memory. Your daughter shouldn't feel pressured to start for the team and if she wants to play to her best ability, as she did last year, she has to go out and just have fun(that's what highschool sports are all about. All she can do is try her best and if she is putting too much pressure on herself she could be damaging her preformance. If you daughter is constantly down on her self she could be taking the fun out of playing, which is the worst thing that can happen. One thing you can do to help her stop being so hard on her self is to tell her to treat herslef like another one of her teammates. If someone else made a mistake she would tell them to shake it off and not to worry about it so why should she treat herself differently.

-- Deanne McCarthy (, February 04, 2000.

I would imagine that your daughter also is very motivated in other areas of her life too (such as academics), so convincing her to play just for the fun of it will be difficult. My recommendation is to remind her that she is a good player, and it will take some time to recover from her illness. Also, you might want to discuss this with her coach. Maybe he or she could talk to her as well. I know that I never listened to my mom's advice when I was that age, but I certainly respected my coach's opinion. Often putting things in perspective is all it takes...then she can relax and the shots will start to fall! :)

Good luck...Thea

-- Thea Stoll (, February 07, 2000.

Whatever you do, do not let your daughter give up on herself or her athletic ability. As a college freshman I play both basketball and softball. My Junior year I suffered a knee injury that set me six months behind I thought my college dreams were crushed, but I committed to working hard. I benefited greatly by not giving up. Try to keep your daughter motivated to do her best and as long as she is giving it her all mentally and physically she will recover and have the confidence she once had as a player. With a lot of hard work, determination, and faith in God anyone can accomplish anything. Also if your daughter is lacking the offensive ability right now tell her to concentrate on making her defense better every day. It takes very strong-willed people to play defense and to realize that scoring insn't everything. That is why there are five people on the floor, and everyone has a different role. Hang in there and work hard!!!

-- Erin Karcher (, February 08, 2000.

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