When Young Athletes Doubt Their Skills When Criticized

by Justin Sayban

Do your young athletes start to doubt themselves and lose confidence when they are criticized or given feedback in sports?

One soccer player puts it this way:

“I’m often challenged mentally during practice if a teammate tells me how I can’t do a certain thing, such as properly marking my opponent. I end up questioning my ability to do so, therefore affecting my performance negatively.”

Self-doubt, which this athlete describes well, is one of the biggest mental game challenges in youth sports.