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Parent involvement in their child's sport participation sometimes backfires
Sometimes parents of young athletes become more interested in their child's sport performance than the child does. They pay for extra lessons, buy expensive equipment, and pay for travel to competitions far and wide. In many cases though this extra attention is squandered when children lose interest in the activity.
Another scenario occurs when the hoped for ability in a child doesn't materialize. Junior may be good but not quite good enough. Again mom and dad are disappointed.
We know a lot about how talent is produced in general but not enough about how training will affect each individual so many parents invest unwarranted amounts of money and time on training that may or may not produced the desired effects.
What's the best strategy for parents with athletic children? Keep calm. Let your child have fun with their sport participation. Those with the talent and passion to rise to the top will if they are given the opportunity to stay involved long enough to make a difference.
If it looks like they may make it into the elite ranks then maybe, maybe, that's the time when a little extra money spent on sport might be a good thing. Until that time though remember that sport is supposed to be fun and if parents are spending extra money and time on their child's sport participation then they are unintentionally creating pressure. Pressure to perform and pressure to do things the child simply may not be capable of doing. Pressure that will eventually drive the child away from sport altogether.
Check out this video from Sport Nova Scotia for a humorous look at this issue:
Bill Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the owner and Chief Data Scientist at Sportkid Metrics.