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Group holds mental toughness youth summer camp

Jun 20, 2023, 10:56 AM

HOLLADAY, Utah — Young athletes in Utah are working on their mental game this summer.

The RJ Performance Group holds a summer camp for kids who struggle with in-game confidence and helps them reach their potential in sports and life.

Lucy Massey, 10, loves sports.

“I play soccer and basketball,” she said. “I tried rugby this year too.”

Her 8-year-old brother Johnny gets in on the action too.

“It’s so much fun to watch them learn and grow and develop new skills,” said their mom Codie Massey, who also wants them to sharpen their mental game skills. “Loss, failure, making mistakes and learning to overcome them.”

That’s why she’s signed them up for the Mental Toughness Youth Summer Camp.

“This is my third time, I love it!” Lucy said.

“You learn so much about yourself through sports,” said Justine Jones Conroy, a sports performance coach with RJ Performance Group. “Dealing with hard coaches is dealing with hard bosses. Having hard teammates is having hard coworkers.”

Through fun, interactive activities, coaches introduce young athletes to some of the topics they’ll eventually face.

“At these young ages, the same things are happening starting to get into pressure situations, and having to have failure and what to do when you have failure,” said Conroy, who played soccer for Westminster College.

Campers learn strategies to help build their confidence, bounce back from a setback and manage stress.

“How much better than learning them at 8, 10, 15, 21 than just waiting till you’re an adult to figure out how to fail and how to get over it.”

Lucy has learned a lot. “You need to have a good attitude and be mentally tough when you’re on the field and off,” she said.

And Massey highly recommends the camp. “They will learn to shift how they see things mentally.”

Conroy said parents are part of the equation too. We can support our young athletes by focusing on the process over the outcome by consistently pointing out and praising what they’re doing well.

The next camp will be held June 26-29 at the Utah Aquatics Academy, located at 10300 S. Redwood Road in South Jordan.

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Group holds mental toughness youth summer camp