Affirmation. Words of encouragement. Words of praise. Words of confirmation. Words of affection. Words of pride. Words of belonging. These all describe that one word--affirmation.
I recently read an article about a study of hundreds of college athletes that lasted over three decades. In this article, “What Makes a Nightmare Sports Parent and What Makes a Great One.” these college athletes described two things that are poignant for parents of all children, including non-athletes.
The first question they answered was "What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?"
The majority of those surveyed said, "The ride home from games with my parents."
(If you have read much of what we have written or heard us speak often, you know that we focus on riding with our children in the van or car as one of the key opportunities to teach, affirm, talk, love, and train. It breaks my heart that this "sacred time" is remembered as one of the most dreadful times for these hundreds of athletes.)
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