Q & A - Should I Slow Down My Over Competitive Kid?

Q & A - Should I Slow Down My Over Competitive Kid?

 Thanks for your question.

"Should I slow down my over competitive kid? Do you think his over competitiveness will hurt him?"

Should you slow down your over competitive kid? Firstly I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'slow down.' in this context. I'm guessing you mean to get him to slow down so he isn't as competitive. You can correct me if I'm wrong.

Does he jump in and want to compete, sometimes in situations that he really shouldn't be in?

This is one of those interesting ones because I wouldn't want to take away any of his enthusiasm if that was the case. Kids love to be kids and jump in where ever THEY think they can have fun.

Other kids mightn't appreciate your son being there, but whose problem is that. Not his. And yet, there is a difference between doing it for fun, and being overly competitive and needing to win in every one of these situations.

Have a read of the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about competitiveness.

It might help shed some light on WHY he is so competitive.

Maybe have a conversation with him about having fun versus needing to win and see what you find out about why he's jumping in. His words will tell you a lot. 

By that I mean if his response is "Because I want to win all the time" or "I like to beat them" then you can have a different conversation about the need to do this and just have fun.

Will his over competitiveness hurt him?

The answer to this is Yes and No. 

I've said yes because underneath there could be a reason for him being so competitive all the time and it's not connected with his need to win. It is however connected to him being seen to be good enough or believing in himself that he is good enough.

Without even realizing it, adults, and I am not only saying parents for a reason, do and say things around children that have their mind go to "Oh that means I'm not good enough" or "Oh that means I'm not as good as [fill in the blank].

When that happens, and you don't even know it's happened, they then think that what they need to do is change that. They then set out to always be the best, or be seen as the best.

As I mentioned this is all going on in THEIR (the Childs) mind, and it is likely not even true. This could all have started at school, for example when your child didn't get as good a grade as another child, or they weren't picked for the A team. 

All sorts of things can trigger this thinking in them and as I said you don't even know it's occurred, until their behavior changes.

From my own experience carrying this belief system around into my adult life had led to some very unhappy times. 

If however, you are able to support him to see his own value, to believe in himself now, the sky is the limit for him.

I answered no because in the longer term he will find his own way to work through this. He might feel hurt and be shunned, on that journey. And maybe those are the lessons we learn in life to help us build our own inner strength.

For me the hurt is emotional. That's why we are having this conversation. And emotional hurt, when you don't' know how to handle it, can be unsettling and linger.

The more you can help him, now, as he is growing up to love who he is, no matter what he thinks others think of him, the easier life will be for him as he grows.

The Best Answer

The best answer I can give you to this question is:

Support your son to feel okay about himself and who he is, as a person, regardless of what he does in hockey. By doing that he'll get the best of both worlds. Life won't be as tough and he won't need to be so competitive as he'll learn to just have fun and be okay with the outcome, win or lose.

Karen Cherrett is a Sports Mindset Coach who specializes in coaching hockey players. Karen coaches players to be more focused and play with ease, not stress. And their parents to support their child in the best possible way. Life playing hockey should be fun. Mental health matters. Hockey should be fun, not emotionally overloading. #MindsetMatters

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