Video shows how bad the ride home can be for some kids who play sports

Video shows how bad the ride home can be for some kids who play sports

A video from True Sport shows how terrible it can be for some kids who play sport on the ride home after a game or practice. It’s part of a new campaign called, “The Ride Home“.

In the video, which you can watch below, a father berates his son for wanting to have fun during a practice.

It’s a difficult video to watch, because none of us like to see kids treated that way. But also because many of us may have said similar things to our children at some point.

Kids tend to stop playing sports because they’re not having fun, and the way we talk to them about their participation matters a lot.

For children, playing a sport or participating in any kind of activity needs to be fun. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be challenging and skill-building. But if it’s not fun, and they don’t want to play anymore, they won’t get any of the other benefits that sports can give them.

The ride home is easy, actually. You just have to remember to say six words:

I love to watch you play.

22 responses to “Video shows how bad the ride home can be for some kids who play sports

  1. There is a bigger picture at play here. The voice of the father could become the inner voice and critic of the child. Not just for this sport, but in general. So really important to step back and evaluate what the overall goal here. There are so many benefits to playing sports and playing at the appropriate level is important for everyone involved.
    As several have commented above, there are other approaches the father could take to unpack the issues that are frustrating the father about the son’s behaviour. Despite the father’s poor and even damaging approach, perhaps some of his points may be valid if, for example, the child is hypothetically ruining the experience for other kids around him. Either way, shaming and blaming never got anyone anywhere and his point is lost as a result. And, as a parent guilty of this in different ways, always a good idea to self-check our own personal attachments to how our kids perform.
    “Rides home” like this could also be a symptom of the fact that sports are becoming increasingly more competitive and specialized at younger ages for players, coaches, and families which is not necessarily a healthy thing. The pressure is felt by all and there is a ripple effect at play.

  2. Maybe part of the kids in this percentage quit because they don’t have a dad or a father figure. I am a dad and a coach and, from what I see, it is the family environment that matters more than the “ride home”. Dads need to be supported and encouraged. We are losing the dads. If fatherhood disappear, it’s the whole country that falls apart. Dads are systematically made fun of in movies, series, ads,…. Why don’t we support fatherhood instead. Why don’t we help dads be good dads for their wives, theirs kids, their communities ?

    1. I agree 100%. As a mom who has a son in hockey and soccer, his dad playing with him every night is huge for him. My husband, even if he had a long day and is falling asleep at dinner will always end the night playing either hockey or soccer before head on bed. We take aways rights to everything when his manners are not ok but that will never be taken away. It create memories and bonds that last forever.

  3. I honestly believed the point of playing sports was to win. Why do something that has a clearly defined score and winner if you aren’t going to try and win? Are there no other hobbies that you could do?

    1. Well someone taught you wrong and clearly didn’t say those 6 words to you… maybe if your playing at a professional level yes but this video is about KIDS. It’s not about winning only.

    2. Nobody’s saying you can try and win, or that winning shouldn’t be enjoyable. I think they’re saying it shouldn’t be the main priority.

  4. When I witnessed my daughter goofing off and being silly more often than not and not trying to improve in her dance class I asked her if she enjoyed dance anymore. She said, no not really. I told her that’s fine, dance isn’t for everyone but since she already started she needed to finish the rest of the year strong (2 competition months left). She needed to know it was her choice to quit if she wanted to, and that door was always open, but after that she became an even stronger dancer and three years later is amazing now! Some kids just need to know it’s their choice and not the parents making it for them.

  5. This is horrible. It is sad that this happens. Maybe dad’s intentions are good. But horrible execution. I am an ex-athlete. My father, an ex-coach. He was the greatest teacher that I have ever had. And I always say that the best lessons that I ever learned in life, I learned driving in the car with my Dad to and from practice and games. He was fantastic! They should have made video of him talking to me the car! He pointed out the good things. Praised what I did well. Encouraged me. Corrected mistakes, yes. But in a “you’ll get ‘em next time” way. Not like this. I am a pediatrician now. And I would not have been able to get here had it not been for those car rides. I tell my friends who have kids to take advantage of those rides now. I went to school for decades, and still the best lessons that I have ever learned were from my Dad in the car to and from games and practice! But this is NOT the way to do it. Be supportive. Be a mentor. But let kids have fun. Let kids make friends. It has nothing to do with winning or excellence. It is about 1) exercise 2) recreation/fun 3) relationships and socialization. Then later it is about 4) commitment. 5) being a team player 6) dealing with adversity. 7) persistence 8) work ethic 9) etiquette and class and ultimately 10) CONFIDENCE! That is what you should be after. I never became a Major League Baseball player. But those same lessons that I learned are why I am a doctor.

    1. This comment rings so true for me. I am currently dealing with a situation where parents on my son’s hockey team are looking to rotate driving / carpool responsibilities and I don’t want to participate. Not because I don’t want to help – but this is MY one on one time with my son. We don’t just talk about hockey – we talk about life. I cherish these moments especially now that he is getting older. Will help out on occasion but don’t want to be part of an official rotation. Other parents think I am crazy – why wouldn’t I want someone else to take my kid? Because I don’t.

    2. Thank you for this. I am a dad to a 10 years old child that plays competitive soccer. I have to confess I have to learn from this message. I am guilty of bad car speeches only because I want him to succeed badly and or too soon on where he’s currently playing, perhaps past life young experiences from myself alone have take me to take the wrong route of encouragement with him. I have the best intentions but wrong approach and I been looking forward to educate myself on this topic because I need it. Thank you for this message it really help me see through the wall of change and break through for the better.

  6. Damian and Cathy are 100% right we have 2 children here who hate playing in the league they are in because they lose all the time due to teammates that just want to have a laugh all they time but we don’t get on their case due to the amount of ability they have ……. that’s not fun is it ! , then on the flip side we have one child who is at a top academy and also plays div1 grassroots …..I’ll be honest I am constantly criticising his game all be it constructively to improve him and help him realise his potential. To many idiots want to try and have the moral high ground, mainly people who are ignorant to the fact that kids have different perspectives depending on ability ( by the way I’ve trained that same kid for four years , he absolutely still loves the game , still asks me train him 3-4 times a week and is constantly striving to improve as he always has ) …..make of that what you will.

  7. He’s right but only if the aim is to win games as a 7 year old. If the aim is to build someone who loves the game and will go as far as they can with it into adulthood,he’s going about it in the wrong way

    1. Very well put. There isn’t that much you are going to do to make a 7 year old a champion. There is a LOT you can do to ensure they never become one.

  8. I feel so sad for this boy to have experienced this. If the father felt that he was not taking practice seriously, perhaps he could have approached the topic in another way. I get that it is a competitive sport, but he is a child and maybe dad should have probed abit further to see if the boy is enjoying himself still (if this is a repeated behaviour)
    or not or if there was some other reason
    why the boy needed to connect with his friends. I’ve seen many parents live through their children and push them to be successful because it’s the parent’s dream, not the child’s. A great reminder of how not to behave when upset.

    1. It’s odd how I was the second person to comment on this video but the dates and comment have all changed. The original poster agreed with the dad’s perspective. I agreed with her comment regarding the dad. A 3rd poster agreed with the both of us. But somehow thus rubish about feeling so bad for the boy is here. We live in a society that can’t say “NO” to kids. Nothing is their fault. The have no responsibilities. There are no consequences to any of their actions. And this video echoes that sentiment.

      1. Damian, you are still the second commenter on this article. We’re simply showing more recent comments at the top.

        I don’t think this video has anything to do with kids not taking responsibility. I think it has everything to do with kids not being allowed to be kids.

        Kids are not little adults. They do not need to carry the same weight of responsibility as adults.

        If a child wants to play soccer (or hockey, or baseball, or swim, or bike) for fun, they should be allowed to.

        Sometimes that means parents, even if they may be well-meaning, need to get out of the way.

  9. Yup.. I agree with her. The problem here is that this “kid” in’t playing recreational soccer. He is playing competitive sports. Recreational programs do not have practices.
    If the kid is goofing around, not trying hard at practice, wasting other kids time, then he should not be in that environment and his father is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.

    1. Damian, it’s important to tune into our children’s cues about whether they are enjoying their activities and taking time to assess if they are the right fit for them. The dad in this video could have witnessed his son’s behaviour at practice and decided that it’s possible that the program isn’t a good fit for him. The conversation should go a very different way though. i.e. non-judgementally asking the child if they are having fun, what they like, what they don’t like, listening to what they say, and potentially helping them connect with activities and programs that are right for them instead of shaming them for goofing off. The parent’s role is to support and guide, not to control. See…s-to-quit/ for more on this topic.

    2. Actually recreational sports have practices.The soccer recreational program where my son played had practice twice a week plus a game in weekend….how in the world you think there are no practices for recreational sports?

    3. I don’t think anyone here is saying that the father is not technically “correct”. The kid very well be wasting his dad’s time, his dad’s money, his coaches time and his team mates time. I think the video, and what people are saying here is that the father’s approach to the situation could have been far better and gotten a positive result for both he and his son regarding both the son’s participation in the sport and their relationship.

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