Help! Too sensitive! : LUSENET : APA Division 47 Exercise and Sport Psychology : One Thread

Our 11 year old son cries easily while participating in sports, espiecally when the game turns sour or in tight situations and the outcome is to our team's disadvantage. He does as well or better than most of the other participants. His personality can be described as appearing mellow outwardly, but can be intense about a game. We are worried about the other kids making fun of Tom. As it is, he is friends with his team mates, but doesn't seem real tight with them. Do you have any suggestions or any articles that may help us help Tom?

-- Dawn M. McCoy (, January 17, 2000


Dawn, This is a tough one to answer over the net. I would suggest 1) find a sport psych somewhere near you 2) look to see what the emphasis of Tom's sport participation is on. At 11 the emphasis should be on enjoyment and skill development. If Tom is becomining upset I suspect that he feels under pressure to perform at a level he is not sure he can. ie a Must Win philosophy. This attitude is not only upsetting to Tom now but will likely lead to him dropping out of sport at the first opportunity. (I am making lots of assumptions here).

If Tom doesn't seem to be enjoying sport and he has at least average ability then it is likely that it is the climate that he dislikes - often called Ego orientated climate with emphasis on winning and beating others.

To start you may wish to put your emphasis on interacting with Tom during sport on how good his skills are and how they are improving. Skill mastery is inherently satisfying and Tom should gain both enjoyment and a sense of competence from this aspect of sport.

If you can find these they might be worth reading : Scanlan, Carpenter, Schmidt, Simons, Keeler 1993. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. An introduction to the Sport Commitment Model. Vol 15, pp 1-15.

Goals: a social-cognitive approach to the study of achievement motivation in sport. J Duda. - In The Handbook of Research on Sport Psychology 1993. Eds Singer, Murphy, and Tennent. Macmillan Publishing, NY.

hope this is of some help. adam

Both are pretty psychological in style.

-- adam hall (, January 18, 2000.

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