How to Improve Your Child’s Focus on the Field

18971373_s

It’s important for athletes to stay focused during the game, but this doesn’t mean that focus comes easy. Kids especially tend to lose focus during baseball games because they become consumed by negative thoughts, coaches yelling or making mistakes. Some kids are also easily distracted, and you may see your own looking out in the distance, playing with their shoes or waving to you in the stands when they should be “in the game.”

If your child is out there having fun, it can seem counterproductive to bring up their focus.
You don’t want to scare your child into focusing too hard; this will just make matters worse. You also don’t want to make your child self-conscious on the field, as this could lead to a decrease in their confidence. However, being “in the zone” is when the magic happens.

Athletes who are focused perform better and become totally involved in the game. Luckily, improved concentration is something that can be worked on over time. It’s a skill that will grow and improve, so rest easy if your child is the one on the field who spends more time smiling and waving at you than going after baseballs.

In the meantime, here are some tips for improving your child’s focus on the baseball field.

List Common Distractions

Talk with your child about the things that distract them. They may say it’s the people in the stands, the traffic in the distance or the other children playing at a nearby park. You may find that it’s one thing that leads to distraction, or it may be a whole host of things. When you know what is distracting your child, you can help them work on strategies for staying focused.

Create a Strategy

One of the best strategies for fighting distraction is to have a mantra or statement that your child can say when they are distracted. “Let that go, focus on the game; or Let’s get to it” are examples of sayings that your child can use when they find their minds wandering. You could also have a gesture such as a head nod or touch of your hat to remind them to pay attention.

Don’t Fear Failure

It’s possible that your child will admit that it’s a fear of losing the game or not playing well that makes them distracted. Remind your child that everyone has good days and bad days on the field, and you just want to see them try their best. If you think that the coach may not be the right fit for your child, readdress the teams he/she plays on. A good coach will instill confidence in your child, which will help them become a more motivated, focused player.

Practice at Practice

The best time to practice skills like hitting, catching and throwing is during practice. This is also the right time to practice practical skills like focus. Use practice times – both with the team and at home – to teach your child how to keep their mind on the game. If your child is particularly young, be patient. Distraction is common in young kids. But with patience and persistence, you can not only benefit the sport of baseball through improved concentration but academics and personal relationships as well.