Updated: Oct 4, 2019
If you want your daughter to come out of her sports experience a winner, i.e. feeling good about herself and having a healthy attitude towards sport, then she needs your help! Your daughter needs you on her team, since you are a vital and important part of the coach-athlete-parent team.
When you support your child and the trainer, your child will learn gymnastics faster, perform better, whilst having fun along the way.
1. Understand your child's competition is their most valuable training partner.
Help your child to understand that competition is both good and healthy. It teaches a variety of important life skills. The word "compete" comes from the Latin words "com" and "petere" which mean "together" and "seeking," respectively. The true definition of competition is a seeking together where your opponent is your partner, not the enemy! The better she performs, the more chance you have of having a peak performance. Sports is about learning to deal with challenges and obstacles. Root for great performances, good plays, not just for the winner!
DO FOR YOURSELF:
Get pleasure from your child's participation, but do not base your self-esteem and ego on the success of your child's sports participation.
Try to enjoy yourself at competitions. Your unhappiness can cause your child feel guilty or pressured.
Look relaxed, calm, positive and energized when watching your child compete. Your attitude influences how your child feels and performs.
Have a life of your own outside of your child's sports participation.
DO WITH OTHER PARENTS:
Make friends with other parents at events.
Socializing can make the event more fun for you.
Volunteer as much as you can. Youth sports depends upon the time and energy of involved parents.
Police your own ranks: Work with other parents to ensure that all parents behave appropriately at practices and competitions.
2. Your role on the parent-coach-athlete team is as a Support player with a capital S!
You need to be your child's best fan. Unconditionally! Leave the coaching and instruction to the coach. Provide encouragement, support, empathy, transportation, money, help with fundraisers, etc., but... do not coach! Most parents that get into trouble with their children do so because they forget to remember the important position that they play. Coaching interferes with your role as supporter and fan.
DO WITH COACHES:
Leave the coaching to the coaches.
Give them any support they need to help them do their jobs better.
Communicate with them about your child. You can learn about your child from each other.
Inform them of relevant issues at home that might affect your child at practice.
Inquire about the progress of your child. You have the right to know.
Make the coaches your allies.
To conclude, the most important thing to remember is that your role, as the parent of a competitive gymnast, is to support your child in a positive way. Encourage them to always do their best and make competitive gymnastics a positive experience for them so they feel good about their sport and themselves. Be their biggest fan regardless of how they perform in competitions. Help them by being their bank, taxi to and from training and make sure you check in and know that they are having fun when they are doing gymnastics.
From Coaching Principles Online • © Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc. • www.asep.com