Young Athletes Turning to Sports Shrinks

Even kids under 10 are getting coached on their 'mental' game
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2007 11:33 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Young, driven athletes who already have all the coaching money can buy—personal strength experts, conditioning coaches, and specialized instructors for every part of their game—are now adding shrinks to the roster, the New York Times reports. Athletes as young as 9 are working out their on-field (or on-parallel-bar) phobias with sports psychologists for up to $250 an hour.

But some psychologists say parents are taking their children's budding athletic careers too seriously. "These kids aren’t playing for the New York Yankees," said one. “The root of the problem is often the triangle of parent, coach and athlete and the conflicts created,” said another. "They want their kid to be the next Tiger Woods. But those fantasies are getting in the way.”