A lot of soccer parents with good intentions give a 30-minute lecture in the car on the way to each match. Too often this lecture is filled with all their child's supposed deficiencies while including tons of playing advice. They arrive far off their optimal mental state and dread the critique they are likely to hear, whether they want it or not, on the way home. Kids who are messaged in this way tend not to play badly; they just tend not to play, possibly to avoid making mistakes.

Parents should memorize and use the following six simple phrases:

Before the match:

  1. I love you
  2. Good luck
  3. Have fun


After the match:

  1. I love you
  2. It was great to see you play
  3. What would you like to eat?