5 Questions to Ask Your Athlete After Every Game

Posted On: 03/28/17 10:36 AM

When asked about their least favorite aspect of athletics, many youth will point to the ride home.

Yes, the ride home.

For athletes, especially young athletes, the time after the final buzzer has sounded and the outcome has been decided is the most dreaded time. It’s not the early mornings or the sprints, the failures or the aches. For many youngsters, postgame conversations with their parents were more dreaded than losing.

As a parent, what can you do to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you?

Let your son know you’re proud of his effort, then listen. Here are five essential postgame questions to help foster positive, constructive reflection.


What did you do well?

Even in the worst losses, it’s important to identify what went well. The successes, just like the failures, can hold valuable lessons. Maybe the shots didn’t fall or you didn’t see the court, but how were you as a teammate? How was your preparation? Did you hustle? Recognize and celebrate the triumphs.


What did you enjoy?

Perhaps, for your son, winning is secondary. Was there a particular play or sequence that was the most enjoyable? Maybe he loves playing in front of a big crowd or had a great time at the postgame meal with his best friends. It’s important to know where your son’s priorities lie and acknowledge the highlights.


What is an area you can improve on for next time?

The game is full of teaching moments. Frame the failures as opportunities. Identify a couple spots that your player can grow in, no matter how small. Instead of “make more shots” or “get more rebounds,” find actionable items. “Limit off-balance shots” or “get a block-out on every shot attempt.”


How are you going to make those improvements?

Figure out ways to make those improvements a reality. What is your player going to do before the next game to get better? Can you find time to get in the gym and get extra repetitions? Can your player have a conversation with the coach? Acknowledging shortcomings isn’t productive unless it’s followed with actionable steps in the right direction.


What did you learn?

What will be the biggest takeaway from the game? It doesn’t necessarily have to do with what happened in-between the lines, lessons can be learned from anything. Take the highs, the lows and reflect on it.


Looking to read more about maximizing your student-athlete’s potential? Check out PrepHoops.com/Education.