17 Qualities we love in Parents of Young Athletes involved in Competitive Sport

This blog is dedicated to all our wonderful parents that “get it” and value sport for what it gives their children and the community.

In no particular order…

  • You love watching your child perform or play. You live for your child’s smiling face and knowing that their sport brings them moments of great happiness and joy.  You know that at times sport provides set-backs (aka growth opportunities) and there may be times where your child’s face isn’t smiling, but you work with the coach and your child to help them through it.


  • You understand that your child’s coach is the culture keeper of the team or the club and that sometimes they have to make decisions for the greater good, which may not be particularly favourable to you or your child, but you know they are there for good reason.


  • You want your child to have a healthy social circle of friends and you see them make these social connections through sport. You help foster this by supporting the coach to run social activities for the team and you offer to help out other parents and teammates where possible.


  • You pay your child’s fees. Ok, this may not be your most enjoyable part of your child participating in sport, but you realise it is part of the package for what you sign your child up for and that it is a necessary part of making sure sport can happen.


  • You back the Coach when they are giving a bit of “tough love” to an athlete, knowing that the intention behind it is well meaning and if your child complains the coach is being hard on them, you explain that they are trying to get the best out of them or you encourage them to chat to the coach about it.


  • You see and hear things with your own eyes and ears. You don’t gossip or hearsay and you would never encourage another parent to do this either. You appreciate a coach with an open door policy as they want you to see your child and hear what they have to say.  You value this opportunity by watching your child when you can or if seeing them during their training sessions or competitions isn’t an option, you make a time to touch base with the coach.


  • You commit to the values and ethics of the team. You show your child what integrity looks like.


  • You read our communications and do your best to make it to meetings (most of the time – hey, we know no one is perfect and can’t be everywhere but we know that you make an effort).


  • You see the place of sport in society and how it brings people together and creates community and you are committed to fostering that love for sport and physical activity to your child so that we continue to see generations of children enjoying sport and your child continues throughout their life-time being involved with sport in some capacity either as an athlete, coach, official, spectator or as a supportive sports parent themselves.


  • You work with us, not against us. You approach the coach in a constructive and respectful manner when you or your child has a challenge with something. Or you empower your child to chat to them.  Most coaches would be mortified if they had unintentionally done something to offend your child or if something had come off the wrong way and they would appreciate the opportunity to rectify the situation.  If you don’t like what a coach or club has to say or stand for, you respectfully remove your family from the club without impacting on the experiences of others that do align with the club’s values and ethos.  You get that there are different clubs and different coaches who suit different people and it’s about finding the right fit for your child or at least providing the coach or club with some feedback to determine whether they are the right fit for your child.


  • In the heat of competition, you keep things in perspective. Your number one goal is to support your child and love them regardless of whether they have a medal around their neck. You love them for who they are, not what they do in the sports arena.  When they make mistakes, don’t rank, or something doesn’t go their way, you know that you have two options.  You choose the option that looks at it from the perspective that sport has just provided your child with another “growth opportunity.”


  • You would never talk negatively to your child about your child’s coach, teammates or teammate’s parents, as you would not want to negatively impact your child’s experience with these people.


  • You, along with other like-minded parents are your child’s, their teammates and their club’s biggest cheerleaders. You give support and kindness to others, knowing that this fuels everyone to be their best.


  • You realise that Coaching is not just your child’s coach’s career but it is their passion. A good coach spends hours researching, planning and generally with your child and their teammates in their headspace, because they love what they do and want your child to be the best that they can be. Most coaches don’t just work 9-5 and most certainly struggle to switch off.  They are often thinking about ideas for sessions and of the athletes they are working with. You get this and you appreciate their efforts and the dedication they have towards their profession and development of young people.


  • You realise that you send your child to a coach for a reason. You don’t try to coach your child from the side. You leave it up to the coach or you allow your child to initiate your help with their training when they want your involvement.


  • You expect your child to be respectful of their coach, teammates and other club members and supporters. You teach your child the little words that make a big difference – goodbye and thank-you is always well received by a coach and teammates at the end of a session.


  • You value your relationship with your child’s coach. You understand that in order for your child to get the best possible sports experience, the parents, child and coach need to understand one another. You also understand that most coaches take their duty of care very seriously and if/when your child is going through their teenage years it may be your child’s coach or teammates that they go to in a moment of need.  You want your child to be surrounded by supportive influences and you believe it takes a community to raise a child.


Thank-you to all the amazing parents we come in contact with, it is your support and children which helps keep us coaches in sport and enables us to influence others to follow in our coaching footsteps.


10/07/2018 Posted by: Active Attitude Author: Ashleigh McCaw

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