Supportive Sports Parenting – What does that actually look like?

by Justin Sayban

Most parents do a great job when it comes to sports parenting with many investing huge amounts of time and money.  We are often told how we should behave and what is expected of us but that does not always have the greatest impact.

We are all trying to do the best that we can and I have often heard banded by coaches and organisations that we need ‘supportive parents, but what does that actually look like?

Based on our work and experience, here are some encouraging pointers:

We need to see the primary value and objective of sport as an opportunity for self development in our child

This can be tough as we all want to see our children succeed on the sports pitch and there is nothing wrong with our children aspiring to be the best that they can be.  However, very few become professional athletes so the character skills, values and self- respect that can be learnt through sport and can be transferred into all walks of life is key.  Do you celebrate and emphasise these moments with your children when you see them?  Do you have discussions with your children around their personal development and not just around the outcomes?