Victory Thinking: What to Tell Your Child to Think About in Order to Win

The game is on the line and your child can either be the first star or the scapegoat. You want to help your child perform their best and you’ve done everything in your power to provide the best possible chances of success. One area you may have not put much thought in is investing is the area of mental skills training for your kids. You’ve heard of the notion that playing sports is 90% or more mental but what is sports psychology anyway?

Victory Thinking: What to Tell Your Child to Think About in Order to Win

Sports psychology involves the instruction and training of psychological skills for performance enhancement. It involves helping an athlete get into a state of flow or peak performance. But how can we get there? When the pressure is on, what exactly should one be thinking about? Can victory be enhanced with the thoughts of winning? If so, what are the best key-words to use?

When you strive to achieve a goal, we are often taught to think about it long and hard and it will eventually happen. Perhaps you’ve heard about the self-fulfilling prophecy whereby the thoughts that you think about lead to the occurrence of the event. The rationale is that the belief causes the behavior. In sports psychology however, when it comes down to winning, the idea is to think about what it takes to win rather than the actual victory itself. In a nutshell, think process vs. outcome. One needs to think about being “in the moment” being “right here right now” or other cues such as “focus”, “calm” or “persistence”. Sports psychology experts generally agree on core values in success as belief, commitment, mental toughness and confidence. Other thoughts that lead to victory can be to think about the enjoyment of the sport, being resilient or to have a second or third effort.

When thinking of positive sports psychology words fun is a good word. Enjoyment is better. Personal satisfaction goes even further in creating the psychological characteristics of peak performance. Take a look at this clip of campers saying to themselves I can (see it) or see it with an instructor (see it). As athletes move up in competitive settings, thinking of more meaningful, creative and sophisticated words can help their performance so that they can succeed “in the clutch” and hopefully they’ll recognize your wise words of support.

Lior Doron is the academy director of the tennis and sports psychology academy (TSPA) which specializes in positive reinforcement and trains campers on and off the court. More information on the camp click here, visit the academy’s website or by calling 514-886-9929, He also owns Flow in Sports which helps athletes train mentally for peak performance. For more information, please contact him directly at, toll free at 1877-778-FLOW, 514-963-FLOW (3569) or visit

By Coach Doron

Coach Doron is a sports psychology coach who helps athletes improve their mental skills.

1 comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *