I asked the parents of young athletes on twitter for their best advice for other parents. There were some brilliant messages summarised as…

  1. Let the coach, coach.
  2. Be the taxi, the finance, the kit washer, the refueller, the PA & the micro manager.
  3. Tell your children “I love watching you play!”
  4. If they focus on what they are struggling with ask them for 3 things they did well.
  5. Plan ahead: have a car boot full of spares and always have drinks and food
  6. Be supportive, interested, listen, cheer and celebrate with them.
  7. Keep the focus on the process, not the results.
  8. Give positive feedback only.
  9. Let them bring to you anything they feel they want to discuss.
  10. Don’t compare athletes or methods or put pressure on them.
  11. Remind them that everyone’s journey is different, talk through how to move on through the ups and downs, failures and successes of their sport and how these experiences will set them up for life.
  12. Be a role model – take up, continue or go back to playing a sport yourself.

I also loved this idea. Provide a HOME.

  • H is for haven, somewhere your child can get a break from the full immersion.
  • O is for Open, in terms of communication about anything including hopes and fears.
  • M is for mistakes, we all make them
  • E is for expectation of progress on the above