I love to watch you play

I stumbled across this great article by student leadership development expert Tim Elmore.
In it he discusses research on what parent can say both before and after the game to encourage their kids, without making everything about performance (either positively or negatively).

Elmore suggests: Based on psychological research, the three healthiest statements moms and dads can make as (kids) perform are:
Before the competition:
Have fun.
Play hard.
I love you.

After the competition:
Did you have fun?
I’m proud of you.
I love you.

It gets even better. Researchers Bruce Brown and Rob Miller asked college athletes what their parents said that made them feel great and brought them joy when the played sports.
Want to know the six words they most want to hear their parents say? “I love to watch you play.”
That’s it. Those six words. How interesting.
How liberating to the parent.
How empowering to the student-athlete.
No pressure.
No correction.
No judgement. (That’s the coach’s job).
Just pure love of their child using their gift in competition.