The role of a parent in sport is as multidimensional as it is demanding. Make no mistake – parents are significant stakeholders in youth sport. They facilitate and provide the sport experience for their child through logistical, organisational and financial support. They are key sources of emotional support and confidence-building, and can be particularly valuable in terms of putting things in perspective for their child. They also have the opportunity to act as powerful role models for their child – paving the way for their child to pick up on appropriate ways to manage themselves and their interactions with others.
Participation in sport can serve to naturally foster your child’s psychological and social development. However, this is certainly not a given. Sport can build character, it can reveal character and it can also break characters if your child is exposed to negative environments and poor coaching. There is intentional work here to be done that will help ensure that parents and coaches contribute positively to the child’s enjoyment, motivation, confidence, and ability to interact with others.