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CHILDREN & SPORT PSYCHOLOGY. Eileen Wolfe University of West Florida. IMPORTANCE OF YOUTH SPORTS. Youth sports act as a microcosm of society Socialization Problem solving Leadership Discipline Cooperation/teamwork Dealing with adversity Overcoming fear Facing challenges

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  1. CHILDREN & SPORT PSYCHOLOGY Eileen Wolfe University of West Florida

  2. IMPORTANCE OF YOUTH SPORTS • Youth sports act as a microcosm of society • Socialization • Problem solving • Leadership • Discipline • Cooperation/teamwork • Dealing with adversity • Overcoming fear • Facing challenges • Stress/arousal regulation • Healthy lifestyle • Coordination • Self-efficacy

  3. PREVALENCE • Nearly 45 million youth participate in sports every year in U.S. • Represents 66% of all out-of-school activities for youth (Ewing & Seefeldt, 2002) • #1 reason for involvement is “To have fun” • Other main reasons: improve skills, get in shape, be with friends (Ewing & Seefeldt, 1996)

  4. DROPOUT • For every 10 youth that begin sport, 3 to 4 discontinue by next season (Gould & Petlichkiff, 1988) • 50% of youth dropout of sport involvement by age 12 • 70% dropout by age 14 (University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, 1981-1997) • In any given year, 3 to 4 out of 10 will drop out before the next season. • Reasons? _____________________________

  5. Personal Characteristics of Children at Risk for Heightened COMPETITIVE State Anxiety • Frequent worries about adult expectations and evaluation by others • Fear of failure • Less perceived fun • Less satisfaction with their performance, regardless of winning or losing • Perception that participation is important to parents • Outcome goal orientation and low perceived ability • Maladaptive Perfectionism

  6. Intervention • Proper interventions can decrease dropout rates and increase positive developmental outcomes • 1)Positive reinforcement, 2)technical instruction, and 3) mistake-contingent encouragement from adults most important interventions • Focus on increasing desirable behaviors by rewarding • Coaches and parents can be trained

  7. Understanding the child athlete • Need continuous and immediate reinforcement: positive approach • Not all want to become “Elite” • Stages of Athlete Development (Côté, 1999; Côté, Lidor, & Hackfort, 2009) • Sampling years • Specializing years • Investment years • Recreational years

  8. SAMPLING YEARS • Majority of youth in this stage • Characterized by “deliberate play” • Kids voluntarily try variety of sports • Positive outcomes: Form opinions on sports, develop fundamental motor skills, socialize, learn to work with others • Essential building block of sport development • Can go into specializing or recreational

  9. Specializing Years • Characterized by a balance between deliberate play and deliberate practice • Kids begin to focus on one or two sports that they enjoy • Skills such as problem solving, imagery, and goal-setting, along with socialization, self-concept, and self-esteem development (Chase & Drummer, 1992; Harter, 1978) • Should be challenging, yet fun! • Can go into investment or recreational

  10. INVESTMENT YEARS • Characterized by deliberate practice • Investment of training time, money, focus • Development of elite athletes • Win-at-all cost focus on performance and competition • Can teach leadership, responsibility, commitment, stress regulation

  11. Recreation years • Characterized by enjoyment and focus on healthy lifestyle, socialization • Not place for overly competitive level of play • Reason many join community sports rather than school-sponsored sports • Less pressure • Everyone given equal opportunity • More likely to experience less negative effects • However, less likely to develop PST’s for stress regulation

  12. Understanding the youth sport coach • Majority are untrained volunteers • Most coach how they were coached • Trained coaches have only 5% dropout rate compared to untrained at 26% (Barnett, Smoll, & Smith, 1992) • Majority use combination of negative and positive approach • Should follow 5:1 RULE • Phil Jackson vs. Bobby Knight • Positive Coaching Alliance

  13. Coaching youth sports • Understand individual athlete goals • Model Sportsmanship • Increases peer-to-peer positive reinforcement • ROOTS: Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates, Self • Practice PST’s to regulate own stress/arousal • Imagery, self-talk, relaxation/breathing • Use positive, sincere feedback • Sandwich Approach: Positive statement, Future-oriented instruction, compliment • Smith, Smoll, Curtis (1979) CBAS Study • Barnett, Smoll, & Smith (1992) follow-up

  14. Understanding youth sport parents • Single most important thing kids need from parents: Support • Emotional • Informational • Companionship • Tangible • Continuum from underinvolved to overinvolved parents • The healthiest development of the child athlete takes place when the parent shows support and respect for the child athlete, teammates, coaches, officials, fans, and opponents alike, through a moderate level of involvement.

  15. Parents gone wild • “The Overinvolved Parent” • Examples

  16. EDUCATING PARENTS… • Parents strongly influence their child’s goals (Duda & Hom, 1993) and perceived competence (Brustad, 1993). • May not realize the impact of their influence • May not know how to communicate effectively with coaches and the child • Parent Orientation Meetings • Parent Responsibilities and Code of Conduct (American Sport Education Program, 1994) • Can use as opportunity to tackle “Myths” (pg.530-531)

  17. REVIEW • Which of the following is best characterized by “deliberate practice” in athlete development? • Sampling stage • Specializing stage • Investment stage • Reinforcement stage • None of the above

  18. review • The stage of athlete development in which an athlete invests all of their resources into one sport is known as the sampling stage. a. True b. False

  19. Review • According to the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, approximately what percentage of athletes dropout of youth sports by the age of 14? • 20% • 30% • 50% • 70% • None of the above

  20. review • Reinforcement for young athletes should be __________ and __________________? • Continuous and delayed • Continuous and immediate • Intermittent and delayed • Intermittent and immediate • None of the above • Feedback should be task oriented (not outcome oriented) and self-comparing (not peer comparing)

  21. review • Which of the following should coaches use to deal with stresses of coaching and to be a good role model? • Self-talk • Relaxation/Breathing techniques • Imagery • All of the above • None of the above

  22. review • True or False: Bobby Knight is a spokesperson for the Positive Coaching Alliance and is displays a considerate coaching style. • True • False

  23. review • According to Youth sport coaches should follow the 2:1 Rule by giving 2 positive feedbacks to every 1 negative feedback. • True • False

  24. FINAL THOUGHTS Canadian Hockey PSA: YOUTUBE VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZM4RO1ty3E http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuWw2j6Tr0g&feature=related

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