The Car Ride Home: Ask the Right Questions
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One of the most important spaces a sports parent operates in is the trip home after a game. Unlike time together after practices, athletes are likely more focused and critical of their playing after a game. Of course, this focus can swing different ways depending on the outcome of that game and how emotionally ready that athlete feels to discuss what happened.
Parents are advised to wait and see, rather than force their child to talk about the game. The number one responsibility for sports parents is to be encouraging and supporting, so if an athlete doesn’t feel ready or willing to communicate about his or her sport, try talking about something else and coming back to the topic of the game later. Or better yet, wait until your child initiates a conversation about the game.
Once an athlete opens the doors to talking about the game, parents should aim to take the focus away from the outcome, and put it on the lessons that can be learned. This helps tie a child’s sport experience to something bigger than the scoreboard, a critical component of being a Second-Goal Parent®. This article outlines the dangers of ignoring this advice, and other suggestions for making the car ride home a positive experience.