After Practices and Games
by Jeff Bateson

The Ride Home

I will state up front that the topic is not new, nor is it original from me. Though I've dealt with this specific topic numerous times in my 20+ years of coaching - at every level - I will use an article from a very good friend of mine, John O'Sullivan, founder of Changing The Game Project, as the authority on the subject. 

You can find many different websites and discussions on this exact topic online. I encourage you not to search for any of them until you finish reading through and answering the questions in the Experience first. 

The background for this topic is simple. Youth sports is a passion of mine. I love working with children and watching them learn to play the game of soccer. I enjoy watching them have a great deal of fun in doing so even more. However, I have seen far too many children get burnt out of soccer and youth sports over the years...for many reasons. However, parent pressure is too often a large reason for their burnout.

I would like to start a discussion on what parents (you) think is the best way to handle post-practice and post-game discussions with their children on the car ride home. Should you bring up practice and games at all? Should you ask the same question(s) each time? [When] Is it appropriate to talk about the coach, other players, YOUR own player's performance? How long should a discussion on practice/games last, if appropriate? 

These, and other questions are very important to keeping young athletes interested in playing sports, as you'll see later on in the article I referenced above. I look forward to a healthy and positive discussion on this Experience.

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