The Mental Edge: How parental expectations can lead to pressure

The Mental Edge: How parental expectations can lead to pressure

Mental Edge Performance

The Mental Edge: How parental expectations can lead to pressure

MentalEdgePerformance.ca is founded by Shayne McGowan, based on the concept of creating a superior standard of training for athletes on and off the field. McGowan is a certified mental game coaching professional. He has studied at Cal State University and has played football in college and briefly in the pros. He is a member of Coaches of Canada and NCCP certified, has 30 years fitness background as a trainer. He has done interviews on Fox Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio, NFL Spin Zone, NFL Showtime, BlogTalkRadio and writes for Train fitness magazine.

Often, parents have high and sometimes unrealistic expectations for their young athlete. These unrealistic expectations include perfect or mistake-free games, never having an off day or being the best on the team every competition. Super high expectations are a major source of stress for young athletes and are accompanied by negative thoughts and under-performance.

Bad performances are met with harsh criticism from parents, which keeps the negative cycle in motion. In an attempt to avoid criticism and please parents, young athletes feel the need to be perfect, an ideal that increases the pressure to perform to unmanageable levels.

Make no mistake about it, high expectations will lead to inconsistent performance or under-performance.

Take, for example, 20-year-old rookie point guard Lonzo Ball.

Ball has more pressure than the normal highly-touted rookies, mainly due to his father. Ball’s father, LaVar, has put undue and unnecessary pressure on his son with his trash talking, bold statements and excessive hype. As a result of LaVar’s behavior and unrealistic expectations, Ball has been booed, targeted by veterans and scrutinized. All this excessive pressure has worn on Ball mentally and contributed to his poor start to his NBA career.

Ball has admitted that the pressure at the professional level has affected him mentally.

“It’s in my head to be honest,” Ball said. I know I can shoot the ball.”

Through his first 11 games, Ball is shooting 29.5 percent and 53.5 percent from the free-throw line. To add to his poor shooting, Ball has 26 turnovers in 11 games played and his shot has been blocked 14 times!

At any sport in the professional level there is pressure that you will face as a rookie. So if parents could take a step back, it would help their young athletes take a step forward and advance their game that they love so much.

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The Mental Edge: How parental expectations can lead to pressure
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