In this TEDx Talk from John O'Sullivan, parents and other loved ones of youth athletes receive the best advice to support their children before, during, and after their games. Just use the following five words:
"I love watching you play."
Here are a few of my main takeaways from the video:
- 40 million children play youth sports but 70% quit by the time they're 13-years old.
- Adults act like these sports are the world series or the NBA finals.
- After the game kids want to relax or unwind - parents want to talk about it.
- If you are going to stay on a team then you need to play year round.
- Kids aren't becoming better they're becoming bitter.
- We would never let our teachers treat our kids like this.
- We would never let them treat us like this at our events. Imagine if kids did treat us like this at our events. Check out the great PSA below from Hockey Canada that actually shows what this ridiculous behavior would look like if the role of parent and child were reversed.
- Michigan state study asked 30,00 kids why they play and the number one answer was because it's fun.
- Study also asked why kids quit and the number one answer was because they were sick of being criticized and yelled at.
- One of the worst parts of youth sports for kids is the ride home with their parents.
I highly recommend following John on twitter and following his great blog Changingthegameproject.com His book Changing the Game: The Parent's Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids is available on Amazon.