Top 3 Mistakes Parents Make with Their Child’s Sports Performance – Part 3


Mistake ThreeYelling parent

Wanting your child to play their sport your way instead of their way.

  • Are you telling your child what to do and how to play?
  • Are you playing coach in the car on the way home, critiquing their performance and telling them how they should have done something?
  • Do you think you know how to coach better than their coach does?
  • Are you interfering with their technique?

Imagine if I came to watch you work and then proceeded to tell you how I think you should be doing things differently than you are.

What if I wanted to rearrange your files because it made logical sense to me and I thought you could be more efficient at your job if you did it my way? How would you feel if you were learning a new task in your job and I interrupted your learning to tell you how to do it different or better? Would you feel frustrated, confused, irritated?

So does your child when you tell him/her how they should have hit that putt, hit the ball, run the bases, caught the ball, saved that goal, etc.

As I explained in Part 1 of this topic, there are negative emotional chemicals that flood the body and physiologically interfere with your child’s performance when you focus on what they did wrong.

But there is another process going on as well and that is the negative imprinting of your child’s subconscious mind when you focus on what they did wrong.

Your subconscious mind is one of the most powerful information processors known. It observes the surrounding world, the body’s internal awareness, it reads environmental cues, and immediately engages previously learned behaviors. It also runs your entire body. Subconscious mind is 95%, while conscious mind is only 5% of our totality.

Your subconscious mind is a dutifully servant. It can’t veto, decide what’s right or wrong, good or bad for you. It doesn’t know a positive thought from a negative thought or a positive emotion from a negative emotion. It can only act upon what is imprinted on it. It will manifest what it believes you want based upon what you focus on, what feeling you experience with that focus, and what you expect to have happen.

Any thought you consciously or unconsciously choose to impress upon your subconscious mind becomes fixed and will manifest eventually.

(You can read the entire article I wrote about the “Role of the Conscious and Subconscious Minds” here.)

Every time you point out what your child does wrong, you are imprinting on their subconscious mind more of what you don’t want. You are going to get the opposite result of what you’re going for with this approach because their subconscious mind will believe you are asking for more of the same (the mistakes and poor performance) and as a dutiful servant, subconscious will deliver it.

Instead, as you focus on what they did right and point out all the progress they are making, that gets imprinted on the subconscious mind and the subconscious will deliver more of these positives in their next performance.

By allowing your child to play their sport their own way, you allow them the freedom to be who they are and learn in their own way and more importantly, express who they are through their sport.

One final thing – as I was finishing up the third part of this series, I found a wonderful article on Huffington Post entitled “Six Words You Should Say Today”.

The article says, “college athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response: ‘I LOVE TO WATCH YOU PLAY’”.

The power of those six simple words is amazing and the effect that can have on your child is profound and something they will carry with them their entire lives.

Please take the time to read this entire article, it’s worth the read:


In Part 1 of this blog, I addressed the first mistake parents make:

Pointing out your child’s performance mistakes to them rather than focusing on what they did right and the progress they are making.

Here’s what to do instead:

Point out their smallest improvements to them, “Wow, you did a great job keeping your eye on the ball tonight”; “I noticed you ran the bases really fast, good job”; “You seemed to hang in there mentally when things got tough, I’m proud of you for your mental toughness”. It’s very likely that your children aren’t noticing those improvements in themselves. Children thrive on positive reinforcement.

In Part 2 of this blog, I addressed the second mistake parents make:

Thinking or feeling that your child’s performance reflects poorly on you.

Here’s what to do instead:

Have fun watching them play…the main goal of playing a sport should be to have fun. If you focus on helping your child have fun, everything else will fall into place. Their joy in playing is a great reflection on you as a parent who has their child’s priorities straight in life.

In this final Part 3, I addressed the third mistake parents make:

Wanting your child to play their sport your way instead of their way.

Here’s what to do instead:

Allow your child to play their sport their own way. By doing this, you allow them the freedom to be who they are and learn in their own way and more importantly, express who they are through their sport. Simply say to them, “I love to watch you play”.

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“It really doesn’t matter whether you believe it or whether you understand it, you just have to do it because it works. Results happen many times immediately and end up being permanent.”

- Tyler Green, Retired Player, Pitched for Philadelphia Phillies

"As an athlete, working with Stacey helped me on and off the field. Through tapping on issues about baseball I was able to free myself of old injuries, hang-ups, and bad habits.

Tapping on off-the-field issues has changed my life and opened my mind up to a new world. It has given my body and mind the freedom you need as an athlete to focus and perform at the highest level."

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