Being a better sports parent

 Posted on: September 19 2016

We’ve quoted from a number of articles and columns talking about how coaches can better serve their athletes. Now, there’s an article (aimed at soccer parents, but applicable to just about anyone) on how parents can better serve their own kids.

From the Institute for Soccer Parenting comes an article by former college and pro soccer player Skye Eddy Bruce, “Immediately Become a Better Soccer Parent by Asking This Question.” In the article, she talks about the ride home with her daughter after a loss. She starts the conversation by saying, “I love watching you play.” And then, the rest of the ride was filled with talk about what went right in the game, and what went wrong—talking, basically about the results.

She admits in the article that she went about the conversation in the opposite way she feels she should have. “Instead of focusing on winning (or not winning) I should have been focused on development,” she said. After that, she said, she now follows up her “I love watching you play” statement with this question: “What did you learn?”

“When we ask our children ‘What did you learn?’ we are teaching them to have a growth mindset,” she said in the article, “reminding them that they hold within them the potential to improve, and we demonstrate that our focus for them and their youth soccer games is on their personal and team growth, not on winning.

“Our girls got better due to the tougher competition,” she continued. “Players had to rise to the occasion – and while they may not have been perfect all the time – they tried, and improved, and learned and will be better for it the next time they step onto the field.

“They also learned some important life lessons they can take with them long after they hang up their boots. They learned how to keep battling when the chance of victory is slim and the most effective ways to talk to teammates in stressful and emotional situations.

“And, thankfully, I learned something as well! I will ask her this and only this after every game, and I can’t wait to see how this one question: “What did you learn?” affects my daughter’s mentality towards development (and mine too!).”

So the young athletes we see playing on our fields or in our tournaments aren’t the only ones who are learning great lessons through sports—parents can learn something, as well.

Read the entire article at:


There are currently no comments, be the first to post one!

Post Comment
Only registered users may post comments.

Back to Blog