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Life Lessons From Game-Time Mistakes

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This resource is from a case study in PCA Founder Jim Thompson’s book, Positive Sports Parenting.

Your child had a chance to make the winning play in the game but missed the last-second shot. The game is over. The team lost. You’re in your car driving home. As a Second-Goal Parent®, what should you do?

Your main objective in this case would be to reinforce the Big Picture with your child. Taking away something that will help your child later in life – like developing resilience to bounce back after tough losses – is much more important than the result of this particular game (Little Picture).

Here’s what you can do: - Avoid the dreaded post-game analysis. That’s an entirely First-Goal focus (Little Picture) and isn’t your job unless your child comes to you and asks for shooting tips. Remember, you have a more important job as a Second-Goal Parent.

  • Don’t assume your child is upset more than momentarily by missing the shot. Ask how she feels about the game and then listen carefully before you say anything. Particularly with younger children, they may not even be aware of the “importance” of the missed shot. And even if they are, the missed shot and tough loss may be long forgotten once the post-game snacks are served. Quite often, the adults place greater importance on the outcome than the kids do. If you do sense your child is upset, give her time to process what happened and discuss her feelings at a later time.

  • When you do raise the subject of the game, use open-ended questions to get your child to talk while you stay in listening mode.

To read the full response, download the book excerpt found below.

To purchase the entire Positive Sports Parenting book, and to learn more about other PCA books, click here.

These books are used in PCA’s live workshops. To learn more about our interactive parent workshops, click here.

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