Coaches by default tend to be critics pointing out or correcting. Parents and media tend to promote scoring or drama. Complaining how things aren’t right or complaining about the results defeat athletes. Relationships that inspire are far more effective. Coach or parent, try these short phrases on your kids it will light a fire!
- Hello. It’s common sense I know, but you’d be shocked at how many miss this.
- What has been your favorite part of your day? Kids don’t want to know how much you know until you show how much you care. Notice the question is positively stated and requires more than a yes or no answer.
- I really enjoy watching you play. Just say it, don’t be their critic.
- You did a great job on ______. Fill in the blank and throw some encouragement.
- What can I help you with? You have to find out where your student is and where they want to go. They will tell you.
- This is a small part of the big picture. Keep reminding them that there is much more to life and your achievements don’t define them.
- Have fun out there. You would not believe the amount of students who don’t enjoy a sport by 8th grade. They tell me that they are tired of listening to parents complain or ride them, tired of coaches not being polite and friendly and tired of the “play more games” mentality.
Your actions and words are motivating something. Just make sure it’s what builds them up not destroys them.