With no games being played, I thought this might be a good opportunity to extend our Athletics Explained from the usual coffee meetings to our online platform. This week I am introducing ideas and answers put forward by Bruce Brown (ProActive Coaching). We feel strongly about Coach Brown ‘character first’ pillars, and it is something we strive to include in our Athletic program. If you have thoughts on this week’s topic, or ever want to talk about youth sport, please let me know. Enjoy!
THE ROLE OF PARENTS IN ATHLETICS (Part 1)
If your child has ever joined an athletic team, either in the community or at York House, then you have ventured down a path for which there is very little parent preparation. At YHS, we begin the athletic journey in Grade 3. There are both physiological and logistical reasons for that decision, but that is for another discussion at another time. Over the next few weeks, I will write about expectations, communication, and roles.
This is your child’s journey. Your glorious, school age, monumental, athletic experiences all ended some 10, 15, or 20+ years ago 😀. I say that with a grin, because we have all heard about the parent who is living vicariously through their child’s athletic experiences. Of course, that’s not you! The good news is that you do play an important part in your child’s athletics experiences. The role that you play can be aided greatly by making sure you are on the same page as your child when it comes to expectations. The following guidance and summary is provided by Coach Brown. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do I want them to play? If so, why?
- What will be a successful season for me as a parent?
- What are my goals for them?
- What do I hope they gain from the experience?
- What do I think their role will be on the team? (more for older children)
After you have answered the questions for yourself, find some quiet, uninterrupted time to ask your child the following questions. When your child responds, parents should just listen without talking.
- Why are you playing?
- What is a successful season?
- What goals do you have?
- What do you think your role will be on the team? (older child question)
Once the parents have heard their child’s answers, they can compare them to their own answers. If both sets of expectations are the same, great! However, if the parent’s responses are different from the child’s, the kids need their parents to change their attitudes and accept theirs. No questions.
That’s it for expectations. I do want to keep these entries short and sweet. Hopefully you found some of it helpful. As I mentioned earlier, if you ever want to talk about it, please let me know. I am always keen to talk about athletics.
Junior Athletics Coordinator