www.sportingbounce.com - Sporting Bounce
Posted 07/02/2021 in Category 1 by "Jo" Kelleher

Keeping your child motivated

Keeping your child motivated

Does it sometimes feel like your child has so much motivation that they are bouncing around as if they are the happiest person on earth?

Then without notice or reason, it seems that you can't get them to do anything?

I see a lot of parents who struggle to get their children motivated, whether it is to get them to do their conditioning or even getting them to train remotely on zoom. I am no different, I have a daughter like that and sometimes I feel that I am speaking to myself or 'banging my head against a brick wall' ????

So what do you need to know to help your child get motivated:

There are 2 kinds of motivation: Internal and External.

External are things like getting a medal, being given a reward for doing something, or anything that is external that we bribe how children with. These don't have to be positive. How many of you have said to your child: "If you don't get ready for school now, I will take away your screen time?"

Internal is about that feeling of achievement and satisfaction that we get when we put a lot of effort into it and the end result is the desired result. An example of this is when you ask your child why they get up at 5 am to go to skating practice, they say "Because I love skating and I want to skate as much as I can".


Highlight their sense of belonging. When children were consistently meeting regularly in their sport, they were cocooned in their own little bubble but now a bubble means something very different. It is important for them to know that they are still part of that community even though things are not as straight forward as before

Encourage your child to spend time with people with the same values as them. This will be mainly online at the moment but there will be opportunities in the future to connect on a face-to-face basis. Find connections that get the best out of you and your child. Set up a virtual play date with some of the other children in their group that they have gravitated towards. Even better, invite the mums to a virtual coffee catch up and I have a get-together as you all need that additional support at the moment.

Be aware of your child's personality. Some children like structure, others thrive on freedom and options. My daughter is a free spirit so telling her what she should be doing will make her refuse to do something even if she wants to. So I have to give her a couple of options so that she feels she is making her own decisions.

A gentle reminder is better than a constant nagging of when they should be doing. Bring it back to why they do the sport or activity in the first place and what they will get out of the reluctant task. Children and adolescents like to think they are in control. Don't argue with them if they say they don't want to do it. Just mention that if they want to be amazing and the best then this will get them there but if not, then not a problem, it's their choice.

Why as a parent can’t we always help them?

I am a performance psychologist who believes in developing a positive growth mindset in athletes. However, I have an 8-year-old who always looks at the negatives and believes she isn't good enough so she uses this as a reason to give up. I work with people every day turning this around so that they see things from a different perspective but I still come out with the comments such as: "Look at it from the positive side" or stop saying you are 'hot', 'thirsty', 'tired' as a reason not to do something. I don't think I need to go on.

Sometimes, we are too close to our children so there is only a limited amount of motivation we can do with our own children. Sometimes, we need someone else's perspective on the situation. 

Jo x

When you are ready.. here are 4 ways I can help you upgrade your mindset for success

1. Join 'The Mental Performance Hub' Facebook group and connect with other athletes, their parents, sport psychology professionals, and coaches with BIG goals!

2. Join 'The Mental Performance Academy' for sport is a brand new mental skills development training membership that could change the way you perform forever. We have created this academy as we believe that all athletes and coaches should have access to performance psychology and it should not be restricted to the select elite. No matter what your level, budget, or situation is, we are developing an affordable one-stop-shop for you to access the exact mental skills that Olympic athletes get access to. As a founder member, you will pay just £20 per month. This will remain this investment for as long as you remain in the academy. It will not be so low again. Join at https://thesportperformanceacademy.vipmembervault.com/products/courses/v

3. Access our free resources at https://www.keyaspirations.co.uk/index.php/free-resources We will be adding to this regularly so keeping checking to see if there is anything that will help your mindset and performance.

4. Work with me or Loriellen privately. If you'd like to work directly with me to help you think and perform like an Olympic, just reply to this message and put 'Work Privately with you' in the subject line and tell me a little bit about you, where you are in your sporting journey and where you are struggling with. Highlight what you'd like to work on together including the results you want to create and I'll get in touch with you to discuss the details.

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