What can parents do when their sporty kids have a ‘bad day’ and want to know what you thought!?

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You can’t avoid it.  As useful as questions are in helping kids take responsibility for their own learning, if you’ve been to watch them play sport, they will want to know what you thought about their performance.  This can be tricky if things haven’t gone well because kids can smell it a mile off if you’re not honest with them!

To help you get the most from this opportunity, here’s a couple of things to think about.  Firstly, ask them what specific aspect of their performance they want to start with.  This will encourage them to think about the areas where feedback would be most useful (*this is crucial for everyone – “how did you think the presentation went today”, will probably provide less useful feedback than, “how effective do you think I was in connecting with the audience in the presentation today?”)

Secondly, try NOT to base your comments on the specific match or event. Instead, make it more of a ‘progress report’ on the things they’ve been working on.  Here’s what I mean…

“I didn’t think I did well today, what did you think Mum?”

“Well I know you’ve been working on … over the last few weeks and I thought that didn’t really work too well today. Why do you think that was?”

This is useful because it’s a simple way to give your honest opinion (as requested!!) and to get them focused on WHY things didn’t work out so well.  Things happen for a reason. If THEY work out what this reason is (with your help), your kids will understand more about what it takes to consistently perform well.

If you follow this up with a, “what will you do now?” question, you will also encourage them to plan WHEN (training on Monday evening) they will have the opportunity to do what needs to be done to improve.  And it won’t do any harm to remind them before this opportunity, just in case they forget!!


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