The Parent’s Vs. Their Kid’s Point Of View
Let Me Talk
The hardest part about being a parent is letting your child express themselves. There are so many times in a lesson I ask, hey how did you do this weekend and immediately the parent steps in and gives their two cents before their kid ever has a chance to answer the question.
There’s one of two things that happens in this scenario:
- One, the child feels cut off and doesn’t feel like an independent person that can answer a question directed at them. So the kid relies more on the parents to answer the questions and think through their parents eyes rather than through their own eyes.
- The second thing that happens is the actual feeling and the raw emotion that goes behind that answer that the child gives is skewed now from the parent answering for them.
Every parent is guilty of this and I understand why you do it. You have an opinion about how your daughter played. You have the right to let the instructor that you’re paying money to know how she “really did “. I am not saying that the parents opinion about their daughters playing abilities are important, they are. But every instructor should first hear from the athlete how they think they did. Not only does this give them the time to reflect back on what they did well and what they need to improve on but it also gives them a sense of independence and being self-aware.
Becoming Self- Aware
This is the number one thing that I see that we are lacking from our athletes today. They are always looking for someone to:
- give them the answer
- someone to blame
- someone to lean on when they don’t feel like they’re meeting up to their expectations
The time has arrived to just let the kid think for themselves and more importantly speak for themselves.
Ask The Question
So we take the same question and we asked the athlete again but by themselves so they can give us a very honest answer. When I ask a question of one of my students, I ask the girls on a scale of 1 to 10 how do you think you did this weekend? This gives them something to go off of so they don’t feel like they are going to be so negative or talk to highly of themselves.
So once they give me a number I say OK what makes that outing this number. So let’s just say one of my lessons that I think I played seven out of 10. My response to her would be wow that’s amazing seven out of 10 that’s pretty good weekend what makes you think you played a seven out of the 10? The response they give me is going to be a positive response because seven out of 10 is a pretty good outing I’ve already given them that idea that they already did well.
My next question to the athlete would be OK how do we make it a 10 out of 10? What is one or two things that you could’ve done to make that a 10 out of 10? This now gets your athletes and think about all the things that they could’ve done to improve their game. This is very important for an athlete to reflect back on the improvements needed to be made each weekend. It’s important for them to understand this so they can get into the cage or get back on the field and work on that gap from 7 to 10 to make it a 10 out of 10.
Softball is a game of repetition, with a very large mental aspect to it. The athlete knowing and deciding for themselves where they lack in their game is a big hurdle to get over. We as trainers want our athletes to be able to use their own words in describing their performance.
Get The Parents And Coaches Involved
After you get your answer from the athlete that you are training, you now want to go and ask their parent or their coach and see what type of reaction you get from them. This will give you three different opinions and outlooks on this one individual’s weekend. If all of the feedback comes back sounding relatively the same then you know where to start working. If you get conflicting stories from the parent and coach together compared to the athlete then you have a discussion with the athlete informing them on what their parents and coaches said.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
At the end of the day honesty is the best policy. There are three sides to every story; the athlete’s side, the parent’s side, the coach’s side. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth. In this process we want to make sure that we keep the athlete’s confidence high and her progress moving in the right direction. Bottomline, make sure that your daughter has a say in how well she did or didn’t do in a weekend. Get the parents and coaches involved. An unbiased opinion will help you guide your training and help that individual athlete reach peak performance.
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