I have made so many blog posts about the typical sporting parent!  Last year the Surrey FA made the national press after it published strict guidelines condemning violent behaviour at a youth football match.  Call them pushy parents if you like, but it’s not just a football problem.  Issues surrounding unacceptable behaviour amongst parents of young athletes pervade all sports.  There is no difference between sports, especially as sport takes on a more competitive edge.  The ridiculous fact of the matter is that this is not a new phenomenon.  Poor parental behaviour has long existed in sports.  Every National Governing Body produces guidelines and educational material outlining the importance of appropriate, supportive approach to young athletes.  So why does it keep happening despite being detrimental to the child athlete?


Latest Sport Parenting Research

You could be forgiven for thinking that we know all about parental involvement in sport.  However, simply having a list of Do’s and Dont’s doesn’t do justice to the magnitude of the aspects relating to sport parenting.  The reality is that we actually know very little regarding the intricacies of sports parenting.  What is merging is that the many different facets relate to  the social, emotional and performance aspects of youth sports.  Early research highlights the huge emotional strain that parents can feel whilst watching their children compete.  This level of emotional stress can manifest itself in a number of ways.  These in turn can be perceived as negative or positive by the child.


The level of competition, the culture associated with the sport and the team, coaching relationship, parent child relationship and influenced by other parents.  One explanation for recurrent shortcomings in sport parenting is the fact that regardless of educational measures, many sports parents are experiencing challenging situations for the first time.  There is little opportunity to revisit specific situations and address mistakes.  Combined with our relative lack of knowledge this compounds an issue that is likely to remain around for some time.


Helping to manage a parents expectations is a key aspect of effectively working with young athletes.  If you’d like to know more of how we can help your son / daughter realise their athletic potential then please contact via our contact form on  the youth conditioning page.