My oldest daughter, Emily, had an 8:00 pm match this past Sunday night and luckily I was able to attend. A late Sunday night game was not ideal after being on the field all weekend myself, but I wanted to go, truly just because I love watching her play. Every now and then we will have a discussion about soccer or her performance or even what competition may be approaching but any conversation about the game is usually quite brief. Our chat after this particular game was no different. When she arrived home, after getting some ice cream with friends, I simply said to her, "I thought you looked good tonight babe, how did you feel about it?" Emily gave me a quick, "eh" accompanied with a single shoulder shrug. I laughed and prodded for more but I didn't get much. I know all of you parents of teenagers feel my pain haha. It was at that moment I could have said any number of things about the game and I didn't, I could tell she was tired so I changed the subject to school and the homework I knew she still had to finish and urged her to ascend to her room to get to work. Almost a week later, and after reading another really good article from "The Coaches Toolbox", I wish I had said something more. I wish I had said, before she headed up to her bedroom for the night, "I love watching you play."
It seems a little obvious that a parent should let their child know they like to watch them compete, and I have always understood this of course. But the article was a good reminder that I need to continue making sure she knows how much I love watching her play. It can be impactful and motivating. I think these same words can work for us as coaches to the players we coach. In this article "I see you", the writer explains that children love to be seen, they love to be engaged with, to feel important. I think we as coaches should attempt to connect in this way with our players every time we walk into practice or onto the field for a game. Imagine how our players would feel if we were to let them know on their way out of the Park how much we enjoyed watching them that particular day. To read the article click the link below and have a great week coaches!