Positive sports parents – supporting talented young athletes

Last updated: 24 Aug 2016 Topics: Parents in sport Elite athletes

This video for parents looks at how they can prepare and support their child to achieve to the best of their ability. It's excerpted from a longer interview with Dr Camilla Knight titled 'Positive sports parents – valuing their contribution'.

How parents can prepare and support talented young athletes

Key points

  • a parent’s role extends from securing access to the right training and coaching, to offering emotional and strategic support pre- and post-competition, as well as being there for the competition itself

  • in addition to providing funding and transport for training, a parent can help their child get in the right frame of mind to be motivated and focussed before a session

  • parents can also help young people reflect on what they’ve learned from the training and identify areas for improvement

  • in the lead-up to a competition, a parent knows how their child is feeling and can help tailor strategies for coping with crowds and the emotions of the other young athletes

  • parents can boost their child’s self-esteem by letting them know they’re looking forward to watching them enjoy their sport and improving on their performance, rather than focussing on winning – this translates into improved spectator behaviour too

  • a parent can be there for post-event analysis when their child is ready to have that conversation

  • by engaging in positive discussion, parents can understand what their child wants to achieve, so that both parent and child will better enjoy this involvement in sport

For further guidance visit our safeguarding talented and elite young athletes topic pages. 

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Resources for parents

You can direct parents to our Information for parents pages, where they can watch these videos and find out what they can do to better support their children in sport.

Further information

For more on this subject, see our guidance on Safeguarding talented and elite athletes and promoting positive parental behaviour on our Parents in sport topic pages.

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