As a parent, you play an essential part in encouraging and supporting your child’s participation in their chosen sport. There are obvious parts to this, such as providing lifts to and from sports clubs and competitions, or by buying kit and equipment.
You can provide a positive role model, encouraging fair play and a sporting approach to your child’s involvement. However, there are times when parental behaviour is much less positive and makes it difficult for children to enjoy or even continue to take part in their sport. Sometimes parents may not recognise or realise that they are behaving in a negative or abusive way.
Positive things you can do
- support your child enthusiastically
- encourage your child without expecting perfection
- be a good role model – to children and other parents
- promote fair play
- acknowledge the efforts of all the children
- encourage your child to play by the rules
- support the coaches and officials (particularly young officials)
- share challenges or criticisms (of officials, coaches or players) in a constructive way
- encourage other spectators to be positive
- challenge or report poor behaviour
- allow the coaches to coach
- support and respect your child’s ambitions in sport
- remember that this is your child’s sporting experience – not yours
- celebrate and support your child as a whole person who needs a range of experiences, both inside and outside sport
The Magic Sports Kit – in this video, children describe how parents’ and spectators’ behaviour gets worse during competitions – and how this effects the young athletes.
These short clips for parents look at how they can help young people play and achieve to the best of their ability. They’re excerpts from a longer interview with Dr Camilla Knight titled ‘Positive sports parents – valuing their contribution’.
Messages for parents of young athletes
- to best be involved in your child’s sporting life, talk to your child
- understand why they’re participating
- let them know why you want them to enjoy sport
- work out shared goals, which will lead to a shared understanding about what their sport means to them
- through positive practices, talk to your child about how they feel about your involvement
The role of parents in supporting children and young people in sport
- it’s too easy to think of negative media stories about over-involved parents
- ‘pushy parents’ are only a minority of parents
- some parents worry about this negative image – so they’re not sure how they should support their children
- it’s important that they fulfil their critical role in a young athlete’s life
The GUW Parent/Guardian Code of Conduct for the Ping Welsh Junior Tour can be viewed here.
If you have any concerns about the welfare of a child in golf, however great or small, or concerns regarding the behaviour or practice of a coach or organiser, please contact Sian Simmons, Lead Child Protection Officer via email firstname.lastname@example.org