Softball is something I fell in love with when my daughter started playing the sport; she was 12-years old.
Since we both believed in practice we would spend countless hours working on improving her skills. Some of my fondest memories are when she started playing travel ball, but not for the reasons you might think.
Most parents dreaded the long drive to the various ballparks across the state. This was without a doubt the best time for she and me to have quality time together (long before it was cliche).
We would strategize on the way to the park, and develop our next practice plan on the way home. We were a team.
I would tell her stories of famous athletes that overcame great odds and accomplished great achievements in their lives. Somehow I always weaved a parallel into her life.
Fast forward to today…
I have asked literally hundreds of student-athletes over the years about their love of sports, and what they wanted and enjoyed from their journies.
Here is my interputation of what I heard from all those athletes:
Your daughter wants you to spend time with her. She wants your love, advice, wisdom, and teaching. She is desperately seeking your approval and praise.
In a few words, “well done”, or “I am proud of you” goes a long way.
Your daughter wants you to be her biggest fan.
Here’s the problem…
Your child gets a good hit, but should have stretched it into a double. Your daughter catches a pop-fly, but forgets to throw it in before another runner scores.
She only hears the criticism from you. She doesn’t hear the compliment.
Praise your student-athlete for giving a good effort, and leave it at that. Save the teaching for the field, or her coach.
This is a lesson I learned a long time ago, and it definitely improved the time and relationship with my daughter.
What’s your favorite thing to do with your child related to sports?