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How to Help Your Athletes Fight the Culture of Comparison

With the influence of social media, there has been a lot of pressure on young athletes to do better and be better than their peers.

Here are five ways you can encourage your athlete to avoid comparing themselves to others. 

Athletes today struggle with a culture of comparison that spans far beyond comparing times or results with teammates or rival schools’ athletes. Now, thanks to social media, young athletes are constantly inundated with a newsfeed packed with top results, new PRs, high scores, and podium shots.

Comparison comes from a lack of self-esteem, but as a coach, you can help create an environment that builds self-esteem. Here, Frank L. Smoll, author of Self-esteem and Children’s Reactions to Youth Sport Coaching Behaviors: A field study of self-enhancement processes, breaks down how to create that culture within your team.

Be aware of different pressures on athletes

Yelling criticisms during a game is an example of putting direct pressure on student-athletes, but remember, they face more subtle pressures coming from all angles, from parental pressure to pressure on social media.

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