In a recent interview, Greg Winkler, award-winning soccer coach and author of “Coaching a Season of Significance,” gave tips for sports parents.
“On the ride home, kids typically don’t really want to talk much. As a parent, just pick something out that they did well, even if they sat on the bench. Did they compliment their teammates? Were they cheering for their team? Find something positive that they did, and start the conversation that way. If the kids want to talk about the game, they’ll talk!”
Winkler says that parents get too emotionally invested in the games, leading them to yell at their children from the sidelines when their sports kids make mistakes. This sideline yelling, while somewhat typical in youth sports, can hurt your sports kids’ self-confidence, and is a distraction to even the most confident sports kid.
“When you emphasize winning all the time and you forget about relationships and team building, you lose those valuable pieces that end up making teams great. It’s not always the teams with the most talent that win; it’s the teams that work together and bond,” Winkler says.
Letting your athletes coach do the coaching, gives you the opportunity to “help your sports kid focus on self-improvement by setting small goals that will allow them to help the whole team,” says Winkler.