Parents, The Ultimate Critics
As parent of an athlete there is one responsibility that you have. That one role you must fill is to support your son or daughter. Problem is many parents get support mixed up with critiquing how the game or practice has gone. Now that my own kids are getting more and more involved in youth sports I start to wonder do kids lose the passion for sports or do their parents kill that passion with all the expectations of playing well, criticizing their play, and post-game rants?
I watch it after every game. Parents come over and immediately start talking about how they could have done this better, should have made this play this way, and on and on it goes. I have made a conscious effort after each performance to do two things with my own kids. Compliment their effort and tell them I love watching them play. Believe me it is not always easy but after having a conversation with my daughter last week on the drive home once her basketball game is over about this very topic I will continue to stick to two things post-game. After listening and watching a couple families do their thing after the game was over and tell their daughter about not fouling, how to pass, when to dribble, proper shooting technique, moving their feet faster on defense, etc. I put myself in their shoes and thought holy crap this is their first real game of basketball EVER!! One parent went so far as to take his daughter out on the court and give her a lesson in boxing out the opponent to get the rebound. These parents are actually friends of mine so they will remain nameless but I hope they read this and potentially change their perspective on things.
I asked my daughter if she thinks kids like it when their parents come up to them after the game is over and start breaking the game down and analyzing their performance. She said, “No.” I said do you like it when I have done that in the past. Again, she said, “No.” Very telling to me. At this point I had already told her that her level-10-energy was awesome. I referred to a couple of loose balls she dove for on the ground and how she hustled up and down the court each time on defense. I had already told her I loved watching her play. I never once talked about something she could have done better. I will leave that up to the coaches. I did tell her if she ever wants my opinion about anything I will give it to her. All she has to do is ask. For now in her beginning years of sports I feel it is most important to support the 3 E’s: effort, enjoyment, encouragement and I am not sure that should really change at any level of sports whether it be high school or college.
Be sure to watch the following with John O’Sullivan and remember to tell your son or daughter that you love watching them play this season!
Watch for another post tomorrow about a new 1PW Product.