Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Published Wednesday, March 17, 2021 with 1 comment

After-Game Conversation: What You Say And What They Hear


Believe it or not, after-game conversation you have with your child can make or break your child’s sports career. It is as important as the before-game-motivation talk coach has with the team, if not more.


Of course you are a well-meaning, concerned parent and you would never say anything that would hurt your kid, but there’s a gap between what-was-said and how-it-was-perceived. Especially if the kid is not in the right place that very moment, the chances of ill perception increase. Maybe they lost and the kid is full of guilt because he thinks he’s the reason. Maybe some teammates blamed him for the loss. Maybe the coach yelled. Maybe the kids had a fight in the lockers. Maybe the kid is hurt and is too proud to cry. There can be so many things the kid might already be dealing with. Least you can do is not add to the burden. Coming back to the communication and perception part, here are a few examples of what you say, and what they hear.


You say: “How was the game? Did you win?”

They hear: “You didn’t lose, did you?”


You say: “What happened? What went wrong?”

They hear: “In spite of all the training and practice, how did you manage to lose?”


You say: “It’s okay. There’s always a next time.”

They hear: “Next time you MUST win.”


You say: “How did the team perform?”

They hear: “How was your performance as compared to others?”


You say: “Did you see that boy play? He was so good.”

They hear: “That boy plays much better as compared to you.”


You say: “Your team should practice more.”

They hear: “You should practice more.”


You say: “Your coach needs to work on game strategy.”

They hear: “Your coach is not fit for the job.”


You say: “The opponent team’s game was good.”

They hear: “Your game was bad.”


Don’t be in a rush to say something. Just call the kid with open arms and say, “I’m proud of you” or “I love you”. If you must, just tell them you are happy if they had a good time playing. Let the overwhelming emotion sink in. Control your urge to give advice. Be receptive and in listening mode. After a while, the child will want someone supportive to talk to. And when that moment comes, they know you are their rock. Now that’s a trophy you want as a parent, right?










1 comment:

  1. Children are the same everywhere, in training, at school and at home. These tips will come in handy in many situations.

    My husband and I decided to divorce and sat down to discuss this with the children. We tell them that we no longer love each other and want to live separately. And children hear that we do not love them. Oooooh, how complicated it is!
    We downloaded the free do it yourself divorce papers for Florida anyway. We'll get a divorce, one way or another. But with children, we will have to work a lot so that they understand why this is happening.