3 tips for sports parents!

27th April 2016

A very little key will open a very heavy door

Charles Dickens


Most people need to hear they are recognised for their efforts and achievements in life, no matter how small. Youngsters want recognition more than anything else, especially off their own parents. With their peers, teenagers will do almost anything to be recognised or admired. Fashion trends, risk-taking, music choices etc. etc are proof of the need to belong and be admired. Such things are not a parent’s domain but when it comes to sport they would much prefer one gesture of genuine praise and respect off mum or dad than hours of attention. They want you to be proud of them more than they want you to worry about them. You MUST get used to providing them with that kind of boost.

Tip 1: Test out what kind of recognition works best with your particular child. Is it a private conversation? Is it a card with a nice comment in it? Is it a public speech, maybe at the family dinner table? Is it a certain gift? Once a week, make a point of recognising your child no matter how small it may seem. It will all add up, and over time you will both benefit hugely from it.



When you feel yourself getting tense and nervous whilst watching your child perform, perhaps try to remind yourself of the day you first ever clasped eyes on them as a newborn. This will bring back the “innocence” they have and remind you how well they are doing in their life journey regardless of this impending sports performance.

Another way to use the ‘big picture’ is to think about how you want your children to remember you when you have passed on. This will bring you in line with your true personal values even if under a bit of stress. From this place of alignment, we usually act better as we open up our hearts and remember what is truly important to us.

Tip 2: Practice “big picture” thinking until it becomes a feeling you can tap into. Find your own ways to do this and you will actually feel your heart opening up and getting lighter as opposed to it tightening due to your perceived “stress” of the situation. Try it now!



It surprises me so much that children, coaches and parents do not sit down and agree together,
what the mission is? Is it purely fun and enjoyment? Is it to become professional? Is it just to see what happens? Is it for social or health benefits? Is all of these things, if so which takes priority this month? Only when you know where you are heading together can you agree roles and duties. In my experience, when people are clear about their jobs to do and mission they find things much easier to deliver.

Tip 3: Arrange a short meeting with the coach, you and your child to discuss the next 2 or 3 months mission? “What are we doing here then?” is a good starter. Primarily, ask the performer what they want and go from there. Then agree 3 things that your role entails to support the mission.



Parent – 1. Transport  2. Be supportive & be a practice partner 3. Pay for coaching.

Child – 1. High effort in all performances  2.  Say ‘thanks’ to parents and coach for input 3. Enjoy committing to all practices.

Your personal situations are so specific and individual it will take some work and practice to apply these tips best. Saying that, you may be surprised how quickly your whole family will benefit from just one of the tips if you give it a good go.

Remember – “small keys can open very big doors!”


Good Luck!


Danny Massaro

Author of ‘The Winning Parent‘  available on Amazon, Worldwide.

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