A viral video, “The Ride Home,” by True Sport Pur, generated many interesting comments from college and professional athletes.
The video shows–on the car ride home–a dad scolding his child for not working hard enough, and the young boy doesn’t respond, but looks very sad. The caption to the video from True Sport Pur:
“Seventy percent of kids quit sports before high school. How we talk to our kids about sports is how we keep our kids in sports.”
Here at Youth Sports Psychology and the Ultimate Sport Parent, we suggest that parents refrain from talking about the game on the ride home.The Positive Coaching Alliance suggests a cool down period as well–from 30-60 minutes where parents don’t talk about the competition.
We have suggested that parents avoid discussing mistakes with their kids, the way the dad does in the video. This tends to hurt kids’ confidence and can make kids feel as if they have to be perfect, which undermines their performance.
We suggest that parents talk about the game only if the kids want to discuss it on the ride home. Later, when everyone has cooled down, it makes more sense to discuss the game–but only if the young athlete is eager to do so.
However, many of the college and professional athletes who commented on the video on twitter (in response to a request from a coach who posted the video on twitter) said that parents these days are “too soft” on their young athletes.
Sam Fischer, a professional softball player, said, “My dad always told me, ‘If you don’t want to talk about the bad games/practices then we’re not going to talk about the good ones either.’ Those tough rides home are the reason I am where I am.”
Shelley Budnick, a college volleyball player, said, “The ride home sucked growing up, but it molded me into the competitive athlete I am today and is the reason why I play in college. Kids now a days are too soft and can’t take criticism.”
Zach Terrell, a former NFL player, said, “Mixed feelings on this–some parents take youth sports way too serious. But, if it wasn’t for my parents and ‘the ride home’ Then I would never have learned accountability.”
He added that the bigger story is why kids are quitting when things get tough or when they are held accountable.
Truth is, kids quit sports because they’re not having fun anymore. Does this make them soft or less accountable?
We’re interested in your comments! Please watch the short video and post your comments below…
Or if you feel strongly about this topic, let us know if you’d like to discuss this on our “Ultimate Sports Parent Radio” podcast! You can return this email
Help your young athletes make the most of their sports experience!