Wed. Jan 27th, 2021

Sports without parents? It cannot be!

2 min read
Small children in kimono beat a punch hand on a white background

The parents role in sports is linked with the children evolution and growth. Their contribution is based in providing material, emotional and psychological support to the young athletes.

Their “place” is sometimes at the tribune, sometimes next to the athletes, some other time far from games and training. For many coaches the problem with the athletes is their parents, while others believe that the parents presence is helpful and sometimes necessary.

In case of the parents that are set “out of” the sport, their enmeshment and struggle to take “control” of the sport at the young athletes expense, is the reason of conflict with the coaches. Confusing the roles on the parent part, trying to intefere in technical elements and give a game tactics scenario “bypassing” or “completing” the coach, makes their position really difficult!

In several cases they try to be one step further than the children, in order to become their protection shield, they involve theirselves into the clubs management to be close to the children, undermining though the personal autonomy and evolution of the young athletes. They become cheerers, shouting and conflicting at the game field, arguing with the opponents, disagreeing with the coach desicions. They “downsize” themselves, being into the game field, not only during the training but also during the game.

The alternative motion involves the parents with the training as well as with the game. They help the athletes providing them mainly emotional and psychological support. They will listen, understand, reward, listen carefully to the athletes distress after the game. They will stand next to them not saying “never mind” but providing them with the ability to undrstand that “there is life” after being defeated, that even in the next day of the game they will keep trying, adjusting the situation. That is what the coach would prefer by the parents!

The parents assist the athletes to understand the value of trying, the importance or training for their evolvement, the “need” to be in connection with what the coach aims at. They will explain that getting tired training is “necessary”, an element that declares effort and will. They will be the first to accept the athletes coach, declaring trust to their work. They help the coach to “adapt” their philosophy to the children. Is not this what the coach would like the parents to do?

The parents presence is helpful and also essential in sports. It is easy to remote them being a coach, but this will not assist in the children evolution. It is more functional to “train” them asking specific elements which will make the coach work more easy and at the same time will give a boost to the athletes developing process.

Giannis Zariotis
Psychologist – Sports Psychologist