SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY

Young athletes’ mental toughness and psychology is integral in optimising their focus, interest and performance in sports (Jones, G., Hanton S., &Connaughton, D. 2002.). further, Jones, G., Hanton S., and Connaughton, D. suggest that athlete’s mental toughness can be identified by thirty attributes under four dimensions (attitude/mind-set, training, competition and post competition practices). To achieve this mental toughness, children’s coaching should aim at building their confidence and focus; defining and managing high expectations and beliefs that lead to stress, frustration and discouragement; managing distractions and training the young athletes how to quickly let go of losses, mistakes and setbacks (Hardy, Jones, & Gould, 1996; Mellalieu,

Hanton, & Fletcher,2006). Those responsible for assisting children at this stage should always try to promote commitment, and such commitment is related to motivational processes. In the light of this, parents in addition to professional coaches, primarily play a key rolein motivating and helping their children make informed decisions about which field of sporting activity to engage in. Conversely, it is often in this scenario that there arises conflict of interest between parent and their children in regard to field of sports preference.

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