Every parent knows that communicating with their child after a loss isn’t easy. In fact, it’s times like these when you truly must act like a caring and knowledgeable adult. What are some guidelines for parent behavior after a loss?
“What part of the game did you enjoy the most/least?”
“What was the best/worst thing about your performance?”
“Were you satisfied with your effort?”
If not, “What do you intend to do about effort in the future?”
“What was the most important thing you learned from the game?”
Tips for Moms and Dads
“Great effort and improvement. Keep working hard, and winning will take care of itself.”
“That was a tough one to lose, but your defense showed improvement. Stay with it, and it’ll pay off.”
“Really good effort. That’s all anyone can ask. I’m proud of you.”
“It never feels good to lose, but you showed terrific sportsmanship. Way to go!”
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Frank L. Smoll, Ph.D., and Ronald E. Smith, Ph.D., for this article. Drs. Smoll and Smith are sport psychologists at the University of Washington and co-directors of Youth Enrichment in Sports. To see previews of their Mastery Approach to Parenting in Sports and Mastery Approach to Coaching DVDs, visit www.y-e-sports.com.