What’s one thing most college athletes say they wished they could have told their parents? Chill out with the post-game critiques!
It might seem obvious, but don’t lecture your children on their mistakes on the way home from a game. As Yahoo Sports’ Steve Henson wisely points out, “. . . [T]he young athlete doesn’t want to hear it immediately after the game.”
A longtime coach and college administrator told Henson that after interviewing hundreds of college athletes, their “worst memory from playing youth and high school sports” was “overwhelmingly” the car ride home with parents who gave them criticism and advice on their performance.
“Those same college athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame,” Henson writes. “Their overwhelming response: ‘I love to watch you play.’”
“In the moments after a game, win or lose, kids desire distance,” he said. “They make a rapid transition from athlete back to child. And they’d prefer if parents transitioned from spectator – or in many instances from coach – back to mom and dad. ASAP.”
Saying that nearly 75 percent of youth athletes stop playing sports by the start of their teenage years, Henson observed, “Mom or dad, so loving and rational at home, can transform into an ogre at a game. A lot of kids internally reach the conclusion that if they quit the sport, maybe they’ll get their dad or mom back.”
Just remember – your kids already have a coach. Your only job is to be their biggest fan and cheerleader!