What kind of parent are you?
Research shows that parents are hugely influential when it comes to their children’s experiences of sports. This desire to contribute can sometimes cause parents to become over-involved in their child’s sporting activities.
Research with the coaches of junior tennis players, for example, has found that kids’ potential can be severely damaged by competitive parents. While over half of the parents studied were contributing in a positive way to their child’s development, 35% were having a negative effect.
The most common complaints were an over-emphasis on winning, criticism and a lack of emotional control. Parents who can’t separate the ideas of ‘being successful’ and ‘winning’ tend to push their children inappropriately.
Watch the YouTube clip (right) to see examples of different parents’ behaviours. Which parent are you?
What information do I need now?
You can dip in and out of this information as your child progresses through the game, from their initial learning experiences through to club membership, or even in some cases a higher level.
Your positive support will have long-term benefits in terms of your child’s self-esteem and holistic development. Not all youth players endeavour to be professionals, but they might want to go on playing golf for many years, and what you do now as a parent will influence their future involvement.