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Cheering the Right Way

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From our Parent Course, this article will discuss how to cheer on your athlete from the sidelines using a technique we call "No-Directions Cheering."

It’s disconcerting for athletes to have parents yell out instructions.

Avoid giving your child advice on the sidelines by committing to No-Directions Cheering. Eliminate verbs in your cheering because you can’t give advice without verbs. For example, “Pass the ball to Sarah” is a no-no because it uses the word “pass” as a verb to give directions. On the other hand, “Great pass, Sarah!” gives no directions. You’re just commenting (appreciatively) on what you see Sarah doing.

Here are some examples of No-Directions Cheering:

  • “Great effort!”
  • “Good hustle!”
  • “Way to play defense!”
  • “Nice hit!”
  • “Terrific play!”
  • “Way to go!”

No-Directions Cheering is important because your child will do better if it’s his game. So provide encouragement without direction – or even enjoy the game in silence. The more space you leave him to be the actor – a proactive player rather than a puppet on a string – the better.

To download the article on No-Directions Cheering, click below.

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