When to Communicate With Sports Kids After Games
After a game, it’s only natural to want to talk about all the things, good or bad, that you noticed about your athlete’s performance during the game.
Whether you want to drown your children in praise or have some critiques about their performance, ask yourself:
“Is now the right time to talk about this? Is this helping or hurting my child’s mental game?”
Keep in mind that sports can be emotionally exhausting…
A child’s win or loss can cause everyone to feel emotional in ways that can color their feelings and thoughts for hours after the game.
It’s not a good idea to talk about the game for at least 30 minutes—or more… the 30-minute-rule.
If your children experience a loss, they may get angry, frustrated and upset. And you might be emotional too.
True communication is very difficult for anyone who is emotional. While this is a given truth for adults, this is even harder for kids.
The emotions create “noise” that will cause your kids to interpret your message in a negative way.
It’s unlikely you and your young athletes will be able to have true communication at this point.
What’s more, trying to talk to them right after a game may make them feel pressured to perform better next game, which can undermine their confidence.
For example, many parents we work with want to help their kids improve by focusing on what went wrong, but this can backfire for your athletes.
Hold off on talking about the game too much after a loss.
Instead, find a couple of positive things to say that may be confidence building, and then wait at least for 30 minutes before you talk about the game.
This 30-minute-rule gives your sports children time to calm down after a loss, and you will find that talking about the loss later, when both of you have some emotional distance from the game, creates a more open and less stressful environment to discuss the game.
Be sure to remind your young athletes that a loss is a necessary part of the game and is not the end of the world.
Remind them that this is but one game of the many they will play, and that no one is judging them.
Remind your sports kids that losing does not make them bad competitors, and that their performance will improve if they accept that losses are inevitable—and that they can learn from them.
Tell them you simple enjoyed watching them perform and how proud you are of them…
Tell Us Your Story
We’d like to hear your stories about communication with your athletes after competition…
If you don’t wait 30-minutes before talking to kids about their performance, how do they respond? What do they want to talk about post-competition?
Email with your story to firstname.lastname@example.org
Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!
Do your young athletes:
- Criticize themselves often after making mistakes?
- Lose confidence after working with a negative coach?
- Freeze up and look scared when faced with competitive pressure?
- Perform like stars in practice but freeze up or play tentatively during games or competitions?
If so, check out The Ultimate Sports Parent!
The Ultimate Sports Parent will teach you powerful mental toughness secrets to improve your child’s success in sports.
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