Sports Psychology: Anger Management For Young Athletes

I frequently get calls from parents who are concerned because their kids are
getting frustrated and losing their tempers on the basketball court, the tennis court,
the baseball field, the football field, the golf course, the soccer field or the hockey rink.

Outward displays of severe anger or frustration are damaging to the children who
are engaging in these acts and they can be quite disruptive to teams, coaches, parents,
spectators and to sports in general.


The solutions to this problem can include anger management training, counseling,
a change in the approach to sports, counseling to improve sports performance,
team-building if the problem is related to personality conflicts with teammates,
meetings with coaches and intervening with the child to prevent further outbursts.

Before we determine what kinds of help is required, I usually ask the following
kinds of questions:

1. Does your child act out in other environments like school or home or are his
or tantrums occurring in the sports environment?

2. Has your child been exposed to any kind of violence or loss of temper in
the home or within the family?

3. What have you done to control your child’s behavior?

4. What seems to work and what has failed? Why?

5. Is there a history of depression, drug use or alcohol use in your family?

6. Do your other children have anger issues?

7. Many anger outbursts are preceded by frustration. What is frustrating or
bothering your child?

In some instance, young athletes can learn to manage their anger and frustration
by learning some simple mental techniques. Chapters 15, 16, 19, 20 and 4 on
the Stay In The Zone program seem to be helpful for many kids. Here is the
link to get this program.

If your child’s problem persists, you may want to consider some counseling.
I can be reached at 888 580-ZONE or you can e-mail me at

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is the Founder of

Dr. Granat

About Dr. Granat

Since 1978, Dr. Granat has counseled thousands of highly competitive athletes from many different sports. His clients have included golfers, tennis players, bowlers, runners, boxers, baseball players, basketball players, pool players, hockey players, ice skaters, wrestlers, fencers and martial artists. (Satisfied Clients) on this site. Now athletes who are struggling with choking, nervousness, lack of confidence, negative thoughts, self-doubt, lack of energy or concentration problems can get the help they need to excel in their respective sport by phone.
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