Game Day Conversations
Sports are an excellent way to support young people in staying active and being connected to a social circle outside of their schools. Adults, such as coaches or guardians, are in a unique place to help young people gain perspective and build personal character while playing sports.
This conversation starter can help adults to support young people in their process of growing through play. It can be used the day of a game or throughout the season.
What skill do you want to work on today?
This question encourages young people to focus on a personal skill that doesn't rely on the outcome of the game. Whether the team wins or loses, the player can discuss their progress throughout the game and assess goals for the future. A young person's belief in their own capability is a building block of self-esteem and this question aims to support their growth in that area.
How can you support other players during the game today?
This question helps a young person focus on community thinking. Even if the sport has just two opponents, the player can show good sportsmanship. Understanding the needs and feelings of another person builds empathy.
What can I do to support you today?
This helps the player know, beyond question, that you are there to support them. This question lets young people speak assertively about their needs and desires, which is an important part of all relationships.
What do you like best about this sport?
Sometimes the sports season has ups and downs. It is common for players to want to stop playing the sport when games and practices become a time commitment. This conversation can help young people think critically about their choices, an important skill in life.
Coaches and Guardians:
What conversations with young people have you found helpful in teaching them to gain social and emotional skills through sports? Continue the conversation on our Facebook page here.
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