The Do’s and Dont’s of Parenting a Young Athlete


We’ve all seen that one parent on the sideline, shouting out inappropriate comments at the top of their voice that are not only directed at their own child, but often at their teammates, coaches and the referee. How much does this behaviour influence the sporting experience of their child?

Parents have an important role in the sporting development of their child.

However, caution needs to be taken in their approach as a parent’s behaviour can have both positive and negative effects on their child’s sporting experience. So below we run through some key points to emphasise a positive experience for your child and some areas to avoid which can lead to negativity.



To summarise, the importance of the role parents play in youth sport is unquestionable, but caution must be taken to ensure the enjoyment and sporting development of the youth athlete is not hindered.

Parents must make it known and clear that they are proud regardless of outcomes.

This should not correlate with any competitive positions, which can increase stress and anxiety before an event has taken place. Many children will continue to be involved in sports every year and some will have the ability to succeed to higher-level competitions and more intense training regimes. The points above are a great start in building esteem and confidence for any standard of performance, as laying strong foundations for the mental aspect of sports will help the youth athlete cope with increasing physical and technical demands that come with progression.

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