(Shout out to Colorado Positive Coaching Alliance Executive Director Linda Crum for telling me about the Canada Hockey videos)
We've all done it. We've been at a youth sports game "supporting" our children and we just can't help ourselves. We have to say something. We know it does not help, but it just might this time, so we yell to Johnny on the free throw line, "Focus Johnny, Focus! Follow through!" He misses the first one. We now yell "Take your time John!" He misses again. Coming down on defense we then yell, "Johnny cover your man! Play some defense!" And, after the game in the car we really want to say something, we try our best to hold back, but then it comes out, "Johnny, you have got to give a better effort. That's all I ask. Give 110%." How do you quantify the effort of a ten year old anyway? At the time it does not seem totally ridiculous, we are just trying to motivate our children, I'm sure. Make them better athletes and better competitors.
The fact is it's completely ridiculous. It does not help one bit. If you really want to know how ridiculous it is, think about what would happen if the roles were reversed. Canada Hockey did just that and made a series of PSA announcements that made me laugh and feel a bit awkward at the same time, but they certainly made me think about what, if anything, I should be saying to my kids when they are playing in a game. Hopefully they will make you think as well. And if you know a parent who could benefit from watching the videos, please share!
Here are my five favorite Canada Hockey PSA Announcements:
1. It's Just a Game - Golf
2. It's Just a Game - Hide n' Seek
3. It's Just a Game - Cop
4. It's Just a Game - Pin the Tail
5. It's Just a Game - Potato Sack
-Keith Van Horn - I'm a husband, father, entrepreneur, coach, writer and former University of Utah All-American and NBA Basketball Player. I blog about youth sports policy and issues, parenting young athletes, college basketball and occasionally a little more.