In youth sport, you will typically see young athletes land on a personality spectrum from a results-oriented mindset to a growth-oriented mindset. In each situation, a parent will need to respond differently in order to help that particular child.

The funny thing about this is even within families, a parent can have children who land on the extremes of either side of this spectrum changing even within the different sport the children play.

Yes, this sounds a bit complicated at first but by the end of this article, you will know the different types of mindsets a child will have and how to support them.

The most important part of this is having the parent know how to optimize the interactions with their child athlete to support them in the way THEY need it in that moment.

The Results-oriented Young Athlete

This athlete is highly engaged in competition and loves the chance to show how great they are in a competitive environment. They are very driven and have that competitive fire behind what they do.

However, this type of young athlete also has a hard time going the distance in sport. They are prone to burn out and are susceptible to high peaks and low valleys within their sporting experience. How do you as a parent help?

The first and foremost thing to understand with these types of athletes is the fact that they will always put a lot of pressure on themselves to perform. The reason I say this is the fact that most parents will default to saying things to their children in these cases that “feed the fire” for the lack of a better phrase.

This type of young athlete does NOT need someone who they want to perform for, tell them that it is important to perform well and how to do it. They are already saying these things to themselves.

The Growth-oriented Young Athlete

This athlete is typically the one you see playing because of the fact that they simply love to do what they do. They enjoy the game and the various aspects that come with the game including having friends and being a part of something bigger than themselves.

This athlete can be described as a social butterfly at times, even when the competition is something they need to focus on in order to perform well. Sometimes they don’t take the training as seriously as they need to and don’t have that fire that some of the results-oriented performers have.

This type of young athlete will need interactions that help them focus but still have a good time doing it. Encouraging words that help the athlete know that their parents love to watch them compete and do their absolute best.

I now want to challenge you to take a look at your children and analyzing their motivators. Once you know how they are motivated, take the ideas we worked through in this article to support THEIR motivators!