By Ken Reed

Research has found that one of the things kids hate the most about youth sports is “The Ride Home” with critical parents. This short video depicts the typical youth sports “Ride Home” very well.

When you put yourself in the child’s spot in this video, it’s clear how these “Ride Home” conversations can become sad and scary situations for young athletes. Many report experiencing nervous stomachs, and other anxiety symptoms, during, and in anticipation of, “The Ride Home.”

The 24-Hour Rule for youth (and high school) parents is great for addressing this issue/problem. The 24-Hour Rule, in this context, is simply eliminating discussions with one’s child about his/her performance during a game or practice for 24 hours. Emotions are much cooler, for the parent and child alike, after 24 hours. As a result, the chances of a productive conversation about a particular practice or game are much greater.

In another context, the 24-Hour-Rule works well for coaches in dealing with the parents of both youth and high school athletes. This aspect of the rule states that there should be no discussion between parents and coaches about an athlete’s playing, time, how the child is used during a particular game, what position they play, etc., for 24 hours after a game. Parents and coaches are both emotional in the first few hours after games and discussions usually aren’t productive in that emotional state.

The bottom line is, the 24-Hour-Rule is an effective tool to utilize for adults (parents and coaches) involved in youth and high school sports.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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