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Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan Jeffrey J. Martin, Ph.D. PSYCHOLOGY OF YOUTH SOCCER.

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Presentation on theme: "Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan Jeffrey J. Martin, Ph.D. PSYCHOLOGY OF YOUTH SOCCER."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan Jeffrey J. Martin, Ph.D. PSYCHOLOGY OF YOUTH SOCCER

2 PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF YOUTH SOCCER Children only play Children only play Coaching ramifications Coaching ramifications Competitive Readiness Competitive Readiness Perceptions of ability Perceptions of ability Soccer Motivation Soccer Motivation

3 COMPETITIVE READINESS? “Most children are not psychologically ready for competitive sport until they are years old”

4 COMPETITIVE READINESS u This perspective does not mean children cannot learn soccer skills, enjoy soccer,and develop fitness and health u However, it does mean that children do not understand the competition process the way adults do u Thus, adults should help children define and understand their soccer experience

5 COMPETITIVE READINESS u Cognitive maturity u Spatial ability u Understanding ability u Effort vs. ability u Realistic appraisal of ability

6 u Being with friends u Playing u Excitement u Learning u Improving SOCCER MOTIVATION

7 THE IMPORTANCE OF PERCEPTIONS OF ABILITY “Sport psychologists believe that the major underlying reason for participating in and leaving sport are perceptions of ability9.”

8 u 8-14 yrs vs yrs u Evaluative Feedback: 1 vs. 3 dimensions (coach, peer, spectators) u Internal information: 1 vs. 3 dimensions (effort, skill, ease of learning) PERCEPTIONS OF ABILITY INFORMATION SOURCES

9 HOW CHILDREN PLAY WHEN THEY ARE IN CHARGE u Potential evidence about how coaches may want to structure practice and games.

10 CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN ONLY PLAY u Lots of action u Lots of personal involvement in the action u Close scores – no blowouts u Challenges strongly match skills u Opportunities to affirm friendships

11 RAMIFICATIONS FOR COACHING

12 COACHING PHILOSOPHY u Professional model vs. Educational and Developmental model

13 u Entertainment u Success = winning u Failure = losing PROFESSIONAL MODEL

14 u Multiple definitions of success u Success = learning, improvement u Success = love of physical activity, health, fitness u Success = developing desirable personal qualities (e.g., confidence) u Success = friendships, fun, good memories EDUCATIONAL MODEL

15 u Fewer definitions of failure u Failure = not trying hard, not persisting, giving up u Failure = poor sportpersonship, unethical behavior EDUCATIONAL MODEL

16 TEAM GOALS u Think short and long term u The practice, the current season, next season u A lifelong love of physical activity and sport u Create an atmosphere so that children want to come to practice

17 COACH CREATED CLIMATE u Create a performance (vs. outcome) oriented atmosphere u De-emphasize winning: Its often uncontrollable and unrealistic u Children will be exposed to plenty of information stressing the importance of winning (e.g., fun, attention, rewards, etc.)

18 COACH CREATED CLIMATE u Emphasize controllable and realistic performance goals such as skill development, fitness improvement, learning, etc. u Create opportunities for fun and socialization

19 u One of the strongest predictors of stress in youth sport is the child’s sense of how important winning is to adults u Coaches who became more positive (e.g., encouraging) drastically reduced children’s drop out rates and increase their self-esteem A FEW PARTING EMPIRICAL RESEARCH RESULTS

20 Thank You


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