“Remember your feet”
“Watch the ball”
“Brilliant shot, that’s the way to do it”
“Not like that, do like you did before”
“Keep your arms straight”
“You can do better than that”
All things that can be heard from parents (and coaches!!!) on any driving rage/practice ground during junior group sessions. And much the same that will be heard from the sides of football, hockey, rugby, cricket pitches!
Parental involvement is crucial to children’s on going engagement in sport but I know that the “constant commentary” that happens is often unhelpful! Many parents I am sure are trying to help when doing this, all the parents I have come into contact with ALWAYS want the best for their child/children but their has to be a better way???
The tell take sign that it is affecting the children’s engagement (and likely enjoyment) is when children are constantly turning back to their parents before and after shots. I have seen children become reliant on this to make sure they are doing it “properly” and/or how their parent/s think they should be doing it!
What to do instead???
Nothing, keep quiet, be silent, just watch.
Tell them what you notice.
Compliment/praise and be specific.
Talk about something else.
Pick something specific (for example – how high their shots go) and explore ideas around that.