Coach's Clipboard: taking the stress out of the game

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

Young athletes can often feel a lot of pressure when they take the field or court. Former major-leaguer-turned-coach, Chad Moeller, talks about taking the stress out of the game for student athletes.

Moeller says make sure your kids take a break. "We have an off season as professional players. We take off from October to spring training in February. That gives our bodies a chance to recharge. We start to wear ourselves down, both physically and mentally if we don’t take a break. It happens also in youth sports to these kids that start to play all the time."

One way kids can take time off from playing a sport is by playing other, different sports. In otherwords, Moeller believes kids should not specialize. The Scottsdale coach who works with hundreds of kids thinks that when a young player is involved in a variety of activities, it makes them a well-rounded athlete.  Skills learned in one sport crossover and are used in another.

Finally, Moeller says relieving some of the pressure off your child falls back on mom and dad. The former Diamondbacks catcher tells parents they should not focus on the outcome, as a child will put pressure on himself or herself to live up to their parents’ expectations.

"We all know winning and losing is part of the game. That's why we keep score. But if that's our only focus, ‘Did you win? Did you lose? Did you get a hit? Did you score a goal? Did you score a touchdown?'" If that's our only focus you put undue stress on your child. Not every kid is a super star.  Not every player is going to be in those roles.”

Click here for more stories with Chad Moeller