#142: Is 10 Too Young? 17 Too Old? Your Guide To The Best Age To Start Mental Training So Your Athlete Can Compete With Confidence!

click here



Welcome to the raising unstoppable girl athletes podcast! I’m Coach Bre, an elite competitor coach for girl athletes. Whether you’re a seasoned sports mom or just starting your journey, this podcast is designed to help you build confidence in your athlete daughter so she can reach her full potential and enjoy her sports journey.

Today, we’ll address a common question: What is the best age to start training the mental game? Many parents wonder if 10 is too young or 17 is too old. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of mental training at different ages and stages, and provide guidance on when to start.

The Benefits of Mental Training

Before we dive into the specifics of age, let’s emphasize the importance of mental training for athletes. The mental game is a crucial aspect of an athlete’s experience and performance. It involves training their thoughts, behaviors, and actions to navigate challenges, handle pressure, and maintain a positive mindset. By focusing on mental training, athletes gain the skills to overcome obstacles, manage nerves, set goals, and foster healthy teammate dynamics. It also empowers them to take control of their thoughts and reactions, enhancing their overall performance and self-confidence.

Starting Early: Building the Foundation

When it comes to mental training, there is never a wrong time to introduce the concept of leveraging mindset to an athlete’s advantage. Athletes of any age can benefit from developing these foundational skills. Even at a young age, around 5 to 8 years old, athletes can begin cultivating awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and choosing a positive mindset. Starting early allows them to build a solid foundation of mental skills that will grow with them as they progress in their sports journey.

Formal Programs: Age Recommendations

While it’s never too young to start training the mental game, there are suggested age ranges for specific programs. For instance, our Elite Competitor Program recommends starting around 10 to 12 years old. However, we’ve had athletes join as young as 8 or as old as high school and college. The key is to consider the athlete’s individual readiness and the competitive environment they are in. Starting around 10 to 12 is often a sweet spot as athletes begin to experience increased pressure, competitiveness, and the need for goal-setting and self-awareness. However, exceptional circumstances or highly competitive young athletes might benefit from starting earlier.

Continued Growth: Older Athletes

If you have an older athlete, particularly in high school or college, who has not yet engaged in mental training, it’s crucial to address this gap. As athletes progress to higher levels, the demands and expectations intensify. Waiting for confidence to magically appear at a certain level is setting them up for potential failure. Mental training equips athletes with the skills needed to thrive in challenging situations, and starting later should not be a deterrent. Encouraging older athletes to begin mental training empowers them to overcome confidence issues, handle pressure, and unlock their true potential.

Practice Makes Perfect: The Importance of Continued Training

Just like physical skills, mental training requires practice and reinforcement. Mental skills are not learned once and mastered forever. Athletes need ongoing exposure, teaching, and practice to solidify these skills as part of their daily routine. Whether it’s choosing empowering thoughts, visualizing success, or managing emotions, athletes must consistently apply and refine their mental training strategies. With practice, these skills become second nature and empower athletes to face any challenge with confidence.

The Lifelong Advantage

Parents of younger athletes often express relief that their daughters are learning mental training skills early on. By starting early, athletes gain a competitive advantage and develop a proactive mindset that prepares them for future challenges. Mental training becomes a natural part of their sports journey rather than a reactive response to confidence issues. This advantage carries forward as athletes progress to higher levels of competition, where self-belief and mental resilience are crucial.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to mental training, there is no definitive age to start. Introducing awareness and positive mindset strategies early on helps build a strong foundation for athletes. While formal programs may recommend starting around 10 to 12, every athlete is unique, and exceptional circumstances might warrant starting earlier or later. The important thing is to ensure athletes receive mental training at some point in their sports journey, regardless of their age.

Mental training is a lifelong practice, continually adapting to different stages and challenges. So, don’t wait, empower your athlete by starting mental training today and give her the competitive advantage she deserves. Together, let’s raise unstoppable girl athletes!

Episode Highlights: 

[00:00:00] Let’s dive into the wonderful world of mental training for athlete daughters and discover how it can supercharge their performance and overall well-being!

[00:01:00] Get ready to be inspired by a heartwarming testimonial from a proud mom who shares how mental training transformed her daughter’s game and brought out the superstar within

[00:03:00] Wondering when to start mental training for your aspiring athletes? We’ve got you covered! We’ll chat about the best age to kickstart their mental game and recommend some awesome programs for different age groups.

[00:04:00] Let’s break down the ABCs of mental training! We’ll explore the foundational skills like being aware of your thoughts, fine-tuning your behaviors, and taking action like a boss.

[00:05:00] Athletes face unique challenges, and that’s where mental training swoops in like a superhero sidekick! We’ll chat about why training their minds and cultivating positive attitudes is an absolute game-changer.

[00:06:00] Spoiler alert: Mental training isn’t just for the pros! We’ll spill the beans on the perfect age range (10 to 12 years old) for getting your young athletes started on mental training programs

[00:07:00] Brace yourselves for the secret sauce of mental training—skills for life! We’ll dish out why starting early means your athletes will have these invaluable skills at their fingertips forever

[00:10:00] As athletes level up their game, mental strength becomes as important as their physical prowess. We’ll explore why mental training is like rocket fuel for the competitive stages

[00:11:00] Ready to boost those mental muscles? We’ll talk about the importance of practicing and applying mental training skills consistently. After all, practice makes progress!

[00:12:00] Here’s a personal story from yours truly! I’ll spill the beans on how my lack of mental training came back to haunt me during my athletic journey. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this tale.

[00:13:00] It’s time to take charge, parents and coaches! We’ll empower you with a proactive approach to equipping your athletes with those kickass mental skills they need to succeed.


Helpful Links:

Thanks for joining us on our mission to raise up a generation of confident young women. The BEST way to help us spread the word and get this information into the hands of millions of parents, coaches, and female athletes is by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Thank you – we appreciate you!

All Episodes, Building Confidence, Level Up, Mental Training

listen now

In the latest episode of The Raising Unstoppable Girl Athletes Podcast, Coach Bre shares tips on unlocking the power of confidence to help girl athletes excel.

Do This To Be More Confident In Your Next Competition

listen now

Kylie shares her insights into how utilizing resources like those taught inside ECP has helped her level up by improving her mental game.

How To Train The Mental Game w/ D1 Beach Volleyball Player Kylie DeBerg

listen now

ave you ever had to deal with negative teammates? The ones who bring unnecessary drama or negativity to the team dynamic?

Athlete Tip (How To Handle Negative Teammates)

Know what to say with these top episodes

Your Varsity-level skill set

Listen to our most loved 
athlete tips episodes

Looking for tips for your athlete?