The 24-hour rule is a new phenomenon in youth sports and is creating quite a stir in the coaching community. In general terms, the rule states that a parent should not contact a coach until after 24 hours to make remarks, complaints, or observations about an athletic conference. The idea behind this rule is to not approach the coach with criticism based on initial gut-reaction, but taking time to process one’s initial thoughts.
After last week’s races, I decided to use the rule in theory when approaching my child about his race. Of course, on race day he got the initial high-five and ‘great job’, but I couldn’t help but have some constructive criticism to give him about going out too fast, or talking to his friends, or even walking mere feet from the finish line; but, this time I decided to wait. That night, we came home, went through our usual nightly routine, and went to bed. By dinner the next day, all of the judgement seemed petty, and instead of weighing in about his race strategy (or lack thereof), I was able to see the bigger picture and just let him know how proud I was that he actually finished the entire race with a smile and had a good time.
As a runner, coach, and parent, it can be extremely difficult not to want to offer what we may see as advice, but sometimes it’s just best to let kids be kids. Healthy Kids Running Series was started as a way to encourage and educate kids about not only running, but also teamwork, individual accomplishment, and learning how to live a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. Our goal is to provide lasting memories to all of our runners, friends, and families while encouraging activity. We hope that you all have a wonderful experience at our races, and share a smile with others in the HKRS family!