#115: The 3 Biggest Mistakes Sports Moms Make After A Bad Game – How to Help Without Causing Her To Shut Down

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Post-competition is one of the toughest times for an athlete, especially when your athlete has a bad game, or is being hard on themselves.

Moms are always saying that they don’t know what to say or that what they do say seems to be the wrong thing or makes things worse. 

So if you are struggling in your post-competition period, get your notes ready cause this episode is for you! We’re going to share with you what you can be doing in that post-competition time because it is really, really important. 

What are the biggest mistakes that parents make post-game?

As moms, we have these intentions to figure out things. And sometimes what we intend to help, doesn’t help. 

Here are some common mistakes parents make.

Mistake #1. Talking about the game immediately. 

If you are a mom that is a former coach or you’ve played the game before, you probably want to come in and talk about all of the strategies you know. 

What she could be doing a little bit better, or all these opportunities that you see to improve. 

Sometimes, that’s what she needs but most times, our daughter just wants to take it slow. She will shut down if she doesn’t wanna talk about the game. 

She will try and avoid it. 

And if she doesn’t want to talk, then probably what she needs most at the moment is space. 

But if you’re in a dilemma about what your daughter needs from you post-game, here’s a tip; Ask your daughter. 

Ask her. It’s very simple. 

What do you need me to be after a competition?

What kind of support do you want?

That’s the simplest thing that you can do to get a gauge of what she wants. 

Allow her to take the lead and open the space for her to decide for herself. 

I recommend the athletes and moms and parents have a common pre or post-game routine that they do, like going to get food after the competition or a silent car ride going home. Something that doesn’t change no matter how she did. 

Mistake #2. Trying to fix things. 

If your daughter starts talking and opens up to you, don’t try to fix things immediately. Don’t say things like “it’s going to be better”. 

I understand that we just want to make things better and that that’s just who we are as moms and as parents. But she doesn’t need you to fix things at that moment. 

Validate her feelings instead. Validate the experience that she’s having. We know that confidence comes from trusting ourselves, so by validating her feelings we are reinforcing this message that she can trust herself.

Validating is very different from stating what happened. Validating is telling her how you understand and letting her talk it out. 

We are validating her experience. We are not validating these negative beliefs she’s having about herself. 

Sit with her and let her undergo the process of overcoming these negative thoughts, by letting her know that you understand and that you are there for her no matter what.

Mistake #3. Only talking about outcomes. 

The outcome is the easiest thing to focus on. And it’s probably the worst thing to focus on. 

Instead of the outcome, we want to acknowledge and recognize the process that she went through.

Through that, she can be reflective of her experience. And then when she goes into her next competition event, her next practice, she’s focusing on the things that are in her control. 

We also don’t want to send this message that her outcomes are related to how we see her as a person. 

The way that we encourage moms to do this is to praise and recognize what you’re seeing in their daughter out there in terms of her work ethic, and her attitude. That is what’s going to help develop her confidence. 


It’s an important opportunity for you and your athlete daughter to develop confidence. The post-game is one of the crucial moments for your athlete daughter. And in these moments, your daughter is looking to you to be her parent and be her support. Be that safe space. 

Avoid talking about the game immediately, fixing things, and focusing on the outcome. Show her instead that you are committed to the process. And that you’re committed to understanding her. 

Allow your daughter to lead. Empower her. She can learn to be confident in her sports, especially post-games if you are willing to provide her with the right tools to navigate through these challenges.


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