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Parent’s Role in Youth Athlete Development

While coaches may seem like the experts when it comes to youth sports development, parents play a significant role, too! As their primary and most influential mentors, parents play a substantial part in the development of their child’s athletic abilities, health, life skill development, and ability to cope with winning and losing. One researcher, Dr. Greendorfer, pointed out, “Parents are largely responsible for socializing children into and through sport during the beginning stages of participation and serve as the interpreters of children's initial experiences.” Let’s explore this way of thinking below to learn more about how parents can support their child’s success both on and off the field!

  • Encouragement and Support: It may seem simple, but research shows that through positive reinforcement and motivation, parents can boost their children's confidence and resilience, helping them navigate the challenges and setbacks they may face in sports.

  • Advocacy and Communication: Parents can also be advocates for their child's needs within the sports program. They can communicate with coaches and administrators regarding any questions or concerns to ensure that their child's interests are prioritized. Modeling advocacy behavior is very impactful on impressionable youth. 

  • Role Modeling: In addition to advocacy, parents can demonstrate role model behavior for their children, demonstrating important values such as sportsmanship, teamwork, and commitment through their behaviors and attitudes towards sports participation

  • Healthy Lifestyle: Finally, parents can promote a healthy lifestyle by encouraging their children to stay active, eat well, prioritize rest, and improve their overall well-being, all of which are all vital for performance and long-term health.

Parents play an important role in youth athlete development by providing support, encouragement, guidance, and resources to help their athletes thrive in sports while promoting values and skills that extend beyond the game.

Click here to learn more about the research behind parental involvement in youth sports!



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