Consumer Watch: Young athletes getting better by learning about emotions
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
Oklahoma athletes are sharpening their skills, and are starting with their minds. Athletics and youthfulness are heavy with emotion, and not knowing how to handle that emotion could create problems with your game, and even put kids at risk of making error that could cause injury.
At a softball practice at Edmond North, the girls tell Fox 25 Consumer Watch the key to gaining a competitive edge is not just about practicing their physical movements. To put it plainly, BAMO.
“BAMO-- breath and move on…we say BAMO before we go out on the field,” says Jacee Minter, a 10th grader.
The mantra taught to the athletes by Boost - Mental Toughness and Leadership. Founder Seth Hickerson says he was once a student athlete and made mistakes along the way.
“We are trying to come up with a way to help athletes understand they don't have to maybe go through all the different bumps and bruises,” says Hickerson.
From negative self-talk, to focusing on the wrong thing, tests determine where an athlete struggles.
Golf athlete and 11th grade student Tyler Nossaman also works with Boost and says once the training clicks success feels easier to reach.
“Laugh at your mistakes and bounce back harder than you fell,” says Nossaman of what he tries to keep in mind during a competition.
His father says raising a young athlete is its own challenge.
“Failure is a big challenge for adolescence, and not exceeding or excelling as quick as they feel they should,” says Jake Nossaman.
Back at softball practice the students there echo the sentiment.
“It can be tough. It is a very intense moment, but it is always best to try to recognize it as soon as possible, and take a step back and take a deep breath,” says Evy Aud, 10th grade student.
Athletes say the mantras and mental training is also a part of their practices, so they will be able to effectively have better control over their feelings on game day.
“Be confident, present and in control and the infield we all kind of say that and we do square breaking which is you like breath and let it out and we all do that together as a team in between innings,” says Kamryn Garvey, 10th grader.
There is a developing industry and area of study examining the connection between emotions and athletics, even at the college and professional levels. The Sport Science Institute has developed a guide to better supporting students and their mental well being.