The ride home

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

I remember reading a blog post. It was about soccer players (mostly in USA, College & Pro), and the question someone asked them was "What was your least favorite moment during your youth sports days?"

The #1 response was.... "The ride home with my parents after a game"

They went on to share how their parents would criticize the ref, the coach, the teammates, the playing system, say things like "you should have done X, Y, Z", "Why didn't you shoot?", "next time do (insert caption here)" Don't get me wrong, most of us parents mean well for our kids, but often our actions are not aligned with our objectives. And this is a perfect example.

Is there a better way to give feedback? I think a better approach when a child enters the car after a practice and/or game is to ask "What did you learn today?" This way you put the conversation on their hands, you let them do the talking, carry the conversation, and you can provide the feedback accordingly. Another strategy I have used as a coach (and a dad) is ask the child "Can I share some feedback with you?".

If the answer is Yes, then means that there's a door open for communication. BUT... allow the child the chance of saying "no" or "not right now", and then try again later. What are some of your strategies? Feel free to share!


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