The Six Words Your Kids Want You to Say !!!!

Wed Oct 2, 2013 by Dave Phillips

If you’re a parent like me, you only want the best for your kids.  When they play a sport, we can't wait to chime in with words of wisdom.  I can think of many occasions when I encouraged, guided, complimented and tried to offer suggestions for improvement after watching my kids perform.  Let's face it, we all want the best for our kids and our parental instinct is to help, or so we think.  

I recently read an article from an Australian newspaper that said the biggest thing that kids hate after their sport is the drive home with their parents.  It’s the number one reason why they quit the sport they play.  Wow.  The constant reliving and overanalyzing of the game is turning our kids away, despite our best intentions.

Bruce E Brown and Rob Miller from Proactive Coaching LLC have done more research on what kids want from their sport parents than anyone.  They asked college athletes what their parents said that made them feel great and encouraged them to play.  The overwhelming response?  These six words:

" I love to watch you play "

Those simple words really sum it up.  As a golf coach, I have never heard a parent say that about their kid.  Instead, I often get parents that analyze everything their child does.  They have stats, swing videos, comparisons to the best in the world and advice on what they believe their child should be doing.  

I often watch my children play sports just like you do and I’ve noticed them looking for me during the game.  At times, they’re doing everything they can do get my attention and look for signs of my approval, so much so that they often take their focus away from what they’re doing.  I have now realized myself that these words can set them free.  They can just play and enjoy every second…and so can I. 

Those six simple words might be the secret to your child’s life long passion.  So next time you’re about to offer up another observation from the sidelines, step back and say " I love to watch you play.”



  • Chris Malvica


  • Anonymous User

    Oh so true

  • Allan Kubernat

    Hi Dave, you and all your team are doing a great job.

  • Stuart Harrison

    Boys cry for it and men die for it - recognition. Or, as the folks in Finland do - 'love without judgement'. Great article and we will be mindful of this as we bring up our 2 yr old boy!

  • Anonymous User

    I agree with the six words. I also have a rule, like a caddy don't speak to your player until spoken too. Many times we want to comment about their round and I have learned to stay quiet. In addition, I have a internal clock to refrain for at least 60 minutes and then talk golf. I have learned over the years to let the round come to you.

  • Greg Johnson

    I agree with the article. I competed at a very high level collegiately and professionally and certainly instruct my kids after their games, but, I can't remember not telling them how much I loved seeing them out there competing and having fun. It's vital to instruct them correctly, but equally important for them to know that you just love being there to see them...

  • Averne Loos

    Not only am I TPI but I was a Primary-High School English Literature teacher. I cannot agree more. I know when I am on the course with my sons, yes parents want the best and can be demanding, and believe me my expectations can be high. But I do love watching my sons play, yes they constantly look for my approval and when they see the grin on my face well, that says it all. Nothing beats watching your children play no matter how they play.

  • Anonymous User

    Just därför har jag hållit på! Det kan man inte tro "I Loved to see you play"!

  • Anonymous User

    Just därför har jag hållit på! Det kan man inte tro "I Loved to see you play"!

  • Anonymous User

    I love to watch my kids play Minecraft. My 5 year old (who also does gymnastics) makes the craziest structures. She is very creative.

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