The art of dialogue

March 23, 2011, 12 a.m. (ET)

Each week, Responsible Sports sends out our weekly coach and parent tips directly to inboxes all over the country. A recent parent tip of the week was: “During and after competitions, be aware of your body language. Are you sending your child a message that you don't even realize?”

The conversation between parents and players isn’t always verbal. The Art of Conversation with your children about their softball experience is the single most important factor in their ability to take life lessons from sports.

In a response to this, Rob shared his experience. “The one thing I learned was that my immediate reaction was most important after a game or big play. I didn't know how badly I messed up until my son told me that right after he struck out, he looked over at me and saw me shaking my head, face down. He thought he'd let me down, and we had to talk it out. I think I eventually reassured but him, but one thing I would say about this is to remember the importance of body language."

As much as you, your children and their coaches want to win games – only the players and coaches are ultimately responsible for winning. As fans and parents, our job is to make sure our children use their youth sports experience to grow into successful adults. If we become overly focused on winning, we are likely to miss opportunities to play this important role with our children to learn and apply teachable moments into life lessons.

Continue Reading: Parent & Athlete Conversation >>

The Liberty Mutual Responsible SportsTM program supports volunteer youth sports coaches and parents who help our children succeed both on and off the field. We offer many youth sports resources including $2,500 community grants, instructional videos, weekly tips, peer and expert advice, and coursework for those interested in improving the youth sports experience for all involved.