Parent Management – Part 5: Sports May Not Be A Priority

…for the parent or the student-athlete.

For sports to deliver maximum benefit for the student-athlete, it must be a family affair. And, it’s generally supported by all. However, it’s known some athletes participate in sports due to parental pressure. Conversely, some athletes participate against the wishes of parents. In either case, sports becomes a burden within the household, while coaches and program leaders still expect buy-in from each family member.

Parental pressure is due to a number of reasons – living out failed sports careers through their kids, hoping sports will improve discipline or simply believing the young athlete has exceptional ability. These reasons, and many others, still doesn’t guarantee a child will fully embrace sports. Instead, it may lead to frustration for parents, the coach and athlete.

The flip-side is some parents may not hold sports in such high regard as their child does. The athlete may see the impact it has on their personal growth, confidence and social standing with friend relationships. Parents don’t just see sports, but how the residual effects of sports is interfering with home life, education and other extra-curricular activities.

Sports professionals must be aware of the family dynamics which may be at play – and not side with the athlete or parent. Instead, sell how the athlete, parents and entire household can benefit from an embraced and supported sports experience.

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