Bare with me while I share another sports anecdote. It’s my life right now. My weekends have been consumed with youth sports for my three kids over the past couple of months. I have a son and daughter playing basketball (one on a travel team) and a daughter participating in indoor track which requires travel as well.
I apologize for my poor iphone photos shot at a distance.
Another parent rode up to a basketball tournament with me over the weekend. Our daughters play on the same team. This was the 8th grade teams first time playing in this tournament on Monday at 8:30 am. Our girls are the 7th grade champions for their division in our area. So the expectations are high for this season.
Our girls lost 34-30. It was disappointing to say the least.
The other parent was beside himself with frustration because the girls were not rebounding as they should and had about 10 turnovers. They could have easily beat the other team but they were just off. It’s like that sometimes. I’m a serious competitor, can you tell LOL?!
As soon as we hit the car to head home for our 3 hour drive, he starts fussing at his daughter. He was going off, and boy was he loud. As you can imagine, she’s crying.
You all were better than them!
You should have won that game!
It was a waste of my time!
On and on and on……
Last I checked, there is no “I” in team. The whole team lost. Even the pros lose, right?
I’ve spent some time around him, and it’s obvious that he loves his daughter and has high expectations for her. She’s about 6 feet tall. But seriously, how does the drama and yelling help her to be better? Maybe it works for some kids.
Meanwhile, my daughter is sitting back there feeling for her friend and looking really irritated.
It’s just not that serious to me. Some say that’s just the nature of sports, coaches yell and people get excited. I understand that but he could have waited to discuss it with her in private. We all want our kids to give their best performance but guess what, sometimes they fall short.
As I’m driving, I’m trying to figure out how to intervene in his rant without getting in his business too much. Fortunately, I found a good time to jump in and he toned it down. The counselor in me acknowledged his frustration. I was not about to listen to all that fussing for the next three hours.
I explained to the girls that it’s hard for parents to watch when their kids are not performing to their true potential. My message to the girls was….
- Reflect on what went wrong and think about areas for improvement. Each of the girls named at least 3 things for themselves.
- Get yourselves mentally ready to compete. Do whatever works for you… pray, listen to music.
- Get some good rest the night before. They looked tired.
- Play to win. It’s that simple.
My daughter now has a new-found appreciation for her dad and I. We give her feedback that she doesn’t like at times but our delivery is different. We aren’t perfect but we do our best to encourage our kids.
It’s important to give feedback to our kids the same way we would want it given to us. Different approaches work for different people and the approach can depend on the circumstance.
One thing is for sure, we have to be good models for them every day all day because they are watching us.
Peace and Blessings,