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Helping Kids Build Confidence | Youth Sports Psychology


Baseball Sandlots

Inspiring Young Athletes to Play Baseball

James Lowe, aka Coach Ballgame, combines his creative skills with sandlots across the country to build in sports kids a love of baseball.

Lowe began creating sandlots–on empty fields where kids could play informally–as an alternative to Little League after players approached him and said that Little League was overwhelming, Lowe told us during an interview during our Ultimate Sports Parent podcast.

“We drop down bases, chop down weeds. Every time we show up and do this neighborhood baseball game, kids are laughing, walking home smiling afterwards and trading baseball cards with Mom and Dad over dinner. I see happier families because of it,” he says. After he created sandlots in Orange County, where he lives, he started responding to requests to create them around the country.

Lowe, a former baseball player for Brown University, started his Coach Ballgame program to ensure that more kids play baseball and enjoy it.

“Kids were falling out of love with baseball. They’re into video games and iPads,” he says. “I love baseball. There are so many life lessons to learn on the field.”

Part of the problem, he says, is the focus on winning.

“Youth sports is all about winning and weaning out the non-elite players and buying the most expensive equipment and going to the most expensive baseball tournament when you’re nine,” he says. “There’s nothing wrong with that if you’re looking through the right lens.”

In Orange County, when he coaches, Lowe combines his creative skills–music, acting and improv–with fun ways to engage kids. Kids get nicknames based on something they love. There are lots of high fives, fist bumps, games and prizes.

His programs and especially his sandlots help build kids’ confidence, he says.

At his own practices, anytime a player strikes out, all the players give the kid who striked out a fist bump and say that they’ve made mistakes, too. “It’s the sportsmanship salute,” Lowe says.

This encourages kids to fail and move on from mistakes.

In fact, one of his sandlot players gained enough confidence to try out for Little League. But he became the target of a bully on the Little League team. Lowe told him to start fist bumping when kids made mistakes. Soon enough, the bully began fist bumping other players after they made mistakes.

“This kid taught this bully to be kind. He killed him with kindness.”

With sandlots, fist bumps, kindness and fun, kids in Lowe’s program not only learn how to love the game. They learn important life skills, he says.

“I want every kid to love baseball as much as me,” says Lowe. “There are so many life lessons to learn on the field.”

Listen to the Ultimate Sports Podcast Below:


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Help Your Kids Improve Mental Toughness

It’s no secret that sports success is linked closely to an athlete’s mental toughness. If your young athletes struggle to perform well in competition, are frustrated with their performance, talk about quitting or display low confidence levels, mental game training can help. Both you and your young athlete can learn how to build mental toughness and improve performance with sports psychology coaching for kids.

One-on-one sports psychology coaching is the fastest and most effective method to improve your athletes’ mental game, boost their performance, and make lasting changes. And as a bonus, parents learn what to say to help young athletes feel confident and thrive in sports. 

Please call us at 888-742-7225 with your questions. Please contact us today to learn more about individual mental coaching programs for serious young athletes on a mission to greatness:

Help Your Kids Improve Mental Toughness

It’s no secret that sports success is linked closely to an athlete’s mental toughness. If your young athletes struggle to perform well in competition, are frustrated with their performance, talk about quitting or display low confidence levels, mental game training can help. Both you and your young athlete can learn how to build mental toughness and improve performance with sports psychology coaching for kids.

One-on-one sports psychology coaching is the fastest and most effective method to improve your athletes’ mental game, boost their performance, and make lasting changes. And as a bonus, parents learn what to say to help young athletes feel confident and thrive in sports. 

Please call us at 888-742-7225 with your questions. Please contact us today to learn more about individual mental coaching programs for serious young athletes on a mission to greatness:



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