Within any given sports, parents have been highlighted as one of the major influences in a child’s level of enjoyment and participation. Having coached youth right through into senior football for a number of years, I’ve been fortunate to encounter and observed the great, positive, non-interested, negative, uneducated also unsupported parents e.g. Positive – encouragement, positive reinforcement, no pressure placed upon winning and Negative – aggressive sideline behaviour, dictating players decision making. The effects of each approach have been discussed in the Helpful and Harmful Free E-Book and Becoming a Sporting Influencer 2.0
With elite football players evolving into multi-millionaires and living luxury lifestyles, a percentage of parents have unrealistic expectations for their child to reach those levels from an early age. This creates unnecessary pressure by placing avoidable emotional also a psychological strain on those young players participating. On the contrast, some parents do recognise and more importantly understand the long term player development model and the importance of participation and enjoyment within the sport. Those positive parents are engaged, willing and open to understanding how to become a positive sporting influencer, thus increasing a child’s enjoyment in the game.
These blogs will highlight, educate and share contributions that potentially aid coaches, organizations and parents about how to deal with an array of matters and/or concerns within the youth sports environment. I wish to clarify that any suggestions that are made, must be carefully considered and adapted to one’s environment and individual and/or team. I must reiterate “one size fits all” doesn’t apply in this context.