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When to Teach Children Mental Skills

By Mental Toughness Trainer, 04/22/19, 12:00PM CDT

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When the Time Is Appropriate, Ask Your Young Athlete for His/Her“Opinion” on a Difficult Issue That“Your Friend” Is Having With TheirChild.

At what age/competition level should a youth athlete focus on building up their mental strength?

Any age! I work athletes as young as 8 years old in person and we have them even younger going through the Mental Toughness Academy along with their parents. The key is to make the learning “age appropriate.” I don’t teach the same way to an 8-year-old as I do to a college athlete but the lessons are generally centered around the same concepts: Focus, Confidence, Determination & Resilience, especially under pressure. That’s my definition of Mental Toughness. Younger athletes learn faster and the messages penetrate the deeper recesses of the mind when your approach is “story-based.” In other words, don’t teach something directly to an elementary schooler, give a story to illustrate the point.