I would like to share an important message that comes from a coach-educator and a true believer of the parent-coach relationship which we adopt and start to promote once we can get back to the courts. Here is the part of his message:
“As coaches we need to recognise that the parents contribute a great deal and play an essential role.
Without parental support, the opportunities afforded to kids to participate in youth sports become far more limited.
In some cases, participation is just not viable when parental support is not available or forthcoming.
There is however a sweet spot when it comes to parental involvement.
On the one hand, parental support is crucial in affording the young athlete the opportunity to participate and pursue their goals in the sport.
On the other, parental involvement can be a source of friction and may add to the pressure of competing, with adverse consequences in terms of both the young athlete’s experience and their participation in the long term.
As talent identification processes become more evolved, notably the recent shift to consider ‘psychological talent predictors’, it follows that examination of parental support and the health of the athlete-parent relationship likewise represent critical factors for sporting organisations to consider for selection.
From my own experience overseeing academy and youth programmes in both professional sport and with national sporting organisations, we gave a great deal of attention to evaluating the parents as one of the critical success factors used to assess young athletes’ long term potential.
Our evaluation of parental involvement and influence in different cases ranged from potential liability to major prospective asset.
Given the crucial role of the parent in the process, it seems nonsensical that whilst we cater for the education of sport coaches, we do not typically equip parents with the awareness and understanding to operate successfully in this space.
More enlightened individuals and groups have started to make efforts to address the lack of resources directed towards parents, but this movement is still very much in its infancy.”
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