Meet: Scott Sellars
Role : Wolves FC U21 Head Coach
Can you give us a bit of background information on yourself?
Scott Sellars, age 50
U18 coach at Sheffield United and Manchester City
Academy manager and Head of coaching at Manchester City
Assistant manager at Chesterfield
Currently U21 manager at Wolverhampton Wanderers
How would you define a parent(s) role within the youth sports environment?
To be a parent, support, encourage, listen but be realistic about your son/daughters ability.
Not many make to professional level
What are the benefits of embracing parental involvement within youth sports?
(Level of communication, trust, improved knowledge, same information provided to the athlete pre and post match, increased level of enjoyment and participation etc.)
You have to involve parents in the plans and objectives for their child. They will talk more to their parent than you so you have to be consistent in what you are communicating. The parents are even more important than the coach in the overall development.
How have you as a coach/club attempted to increase parental involvement?
(Questionnaires, Parent Education Seminars, Reversing the role of athletes and parents, silent sideline, weekly emails, reading materials)
I think seminars are the most important, give the parents all the information and an opportunity to ask questions if needed.
What challenges have you faced by attempting to increase the level of parental involvement?
The real challenges come when there is a mistrust between parent/coach/club
Have you seen a difference in youth athletes when parental involvement is embraced not neglected and/or ignored?
I think no communication or silence is very dangerous when not embracing the parent involvement
Positives: (Increased level of enjoyment and participation, less anxiety, mistakes are valued etc.)
What advice would you give coaches that are unsure and/or afraid about increasing parental involvement within youth sports?
Talk to them (Parents) give them all the relevant information and create a relationship
For those parents unaware of their influential role within youth sports, what advice would you give them?
Eg. Your child needs your active engagement and support
Earlier support and love your child but be realistic
Thank you to Scott for taking the time to complete the following interview questions.
The Sporting Influencer