Jul 29

Tip of the Month – June

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Coach Monika says…


Praise and Your Child’s Performance

The following article was adapted and modified from John O’Sullivan/September 24, 2013

A parent’s motivation for praising their child has its roots in a desire to see their child succeed; however, parents may use praise in ways that actually interfere with solid performances.

Here are some ‘pitfalls’ to avoid as the ‘eager’ parent:

  • BE CLEAR AND CONCISE IN YOUR PRAISE: We have to constantly remind ourselves to do. Instead of “you are playing really well” focus on their effort and application as the cause of their good results.
  • AVOID OVER-PRAISING KIDS: Try not to over-praise your child. We have all met the ‘over-praiser” – the parents who acts as if every stick figure is a Picasso and every recital performance was Oscar worthy. These parents are afraid that their child’s self-esteem will suffer if they are not encouraged and praised for every outcome. However, this is not true.
  • AVOID PRAISING BY COMPARISON:  Avoid praising your child by comparing him/her to others. Many parents try to make their own kid feel better by tearing down other athletes. This not only can cause a fixed mindset, but it is very destructive of team dynamics.
  • AVOID SARCASTIC PRAISE: Coaches often use sarcastic feedback trying to improve skills. This is hurtful, especially when occurring in front of other athletes.


  • Focusing on the effort instead of the outcome keeps us present with our children in their struggle.
  • Praising effort prevents us from being so focused on the prize that we forget to give credence to what got our athlete there.
  • It should make us a partner in the process and allows our athletes to give their attention to the journey and not the destination.
  • It also should allow us to recognize everything our young athletes are accomplishing along that journey.
  • High performers are all about the process, and the process is all about effort.


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