Whether it’s driving kids to practices and games, preparing team snacks, organizing events, or providing a listening and supportive ear, parents play an essential role in supporting their children in sport and activity.
In the United Kingdom, the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) has recognized the importance of promoting positive sport parenting. The CPSU has developed a series of online resources to help parents to understand their role in their child’s sport, and thereby support them in enhancing the sporting environment for their children and everyone involved.
In the video below, Dr. Camilla Knight, an associate professor of sports science at Swansea University and a consultant to the CPSU, explains how important parents are in supporting young kids in their sport experiences. She developed the following tips for parents who are raising young athletes:
- Talk to your child to ensure you and your child have the same goals and expectations for sport. Remember these goals may change over time so frequent conversations are a must!
- Take time to learn about your child’s sport and understand the role it plays in their life. Strive to demonstrate this understanding through all your actions.
- Recognize the huge range of benefits your child can gain from being involved in sport to help you keep winning and losing in perspective.
- Ask your child what they would like you to do and say before, during, and after competitions, and then try to do it!
- Finally, remember that your child is an individual and no one else will have exactly the same sporting journey; avoid comparing to others and instead focus on your own child’s progress and improvements.