Oct. 21, 2020

The Ride Home

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Juniors hate the ride home from a match or tournament. Learn how you can navigate this car journey and make sure (as parents) you turn it into a positive experience for both you and your junior.

Coach: Positive Coaching Alliance, better athletes, better people.
Bio:Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is a national non-profit organization with the mission of creating a positive, character-building youth sports environment that results in BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE. 

Youth sports currently involves 40M children, which presents a tremendous platform on which to develop youth character and life skills. PCA ensures sports are ‘done right’ with programming that is research-based and designed to have an impact.

Since its founding in 1998, PCA has established 18 chapters nationwide, partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations to deliver more than 20,000 live group workshops, reaching 19.2 million youth.

PCA gains support from a National Advisory Board of elite coaches, professional and Olympic athletes, organization leaders, and academics who share PCA’s mission. PCA is proud to partner with more than 50 national governing bodies.

Birthplace: N/A
Residency:Mountain View, CA, USA

Link: Positive Coaching Alliance

Length: 2 min 30 sec
Theme: Emotion

Other tracks by PCA:When Things Go Wrong, When Parents Can Be Helpful Or Harmful, Compete With Grace, Why Mistakes Are Good, The Ride Home.

You might like:When Parents Can Be Helpful Or Harmful.


The ride home.

There was a poll taken amongst NCAA athletes. And they were asked, what was the worst part of their youth sports experience? And their answer was 'the ride home'. Not a mistake, not a bad call, not a teammate, literally the ride home. Being stuck in a box and have someone 'give you the business' through a rearview mirror. That's a pretty powerful thing coming from athletes. And these are athletes that made it. These are athletes that are playing at a very high level. And yet, they still didn't appreciate the ride home.

So it's important as parents, for us to be thoughtful about our kid's emotional schedule, are they actually ready to have the conversation, to hear what you have to say? Or think about the match that they just played, whether it be good or bad. And so be thoughtful about that, when you want to have a conversation with your kid is that actually for you or is it for them? And making sure that if it's for them, that it's important that they be ready to hear that.

A healthy relationship always has boundaries. And it's important to be thoughtful about that, especially at the end of a match where emotions are high, your kid is probably disappointed, especially if they've lost and how they played. They're already thoughtful about that within themselves. They don't need your help to do that. And so again, respecting that emotional schedule is important.

Next, do you know your kid? Is your kid wanting to have that conversation right after the match? Or do they need an hour? Do they need some ice cream? Do they need some music? Pay attention to what your kid needs after the match, and specifically that ride home - because that's essential.

Now, I'm not saying you should be quiet. You should turn the music off and act like someone died. We're not talking about that. Specifically, we're talking about when do you go into the conversation about improvement? And is your kid actually ready to hear that and use it and retain it. And if they are, I think we should have it and that's a great way to build that relationship. But if they're not, that's also a great way to tear down a relationship and not have your kid want to listen to you. So again, respecting that emotional schedule and making sure that your kid is not one of those kids that will be pulled, saying that they hated the ride home.