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  • Writer's pictureMind to Performance

"As a parent, how can I ensure I'm doing all I can to set my child up for sport success?"

I absolutely love getting this question because it means this parent understands the important role they play in their kid's sport development. But understanding you possess a vital responsibility, and knowing what to say/when to say it are two different things.

First things first, I always stress the importance of keeping an honest, respectful path of communication both ways. As a parent, it's important you give your kid a platform to express how they feel about your involvement in their sport, while still maintaining that at the end of the day, you will do what you think is best for them.

The following questions can guide this conversation:

-How do your mom and I currently help you perform well? -How do we hurt your performance? (stress here that it's never your wish to add pressure/expectations but that these things can inadvertently occur) -How would you like us to critique your performance when we see areas for improvement? (again, you're the parent and should give guidance when appropriate, but there are many different ways to share your insight) -How would you like us to talk to you before, during, and after your games? (some athletes like to talk strategy in the car, while others just want to listen to music and get in the zone) -Is there anything we're not currently doing that you would like us to try to help you/your performance?

Just having the above discussion demonstrates to your kid that you don't just make decisions because you're in charge. It shows that you understand they have preferences and gives them the autonomy to be honest about their feelings toward your involvement in their athletic development. Most parents are surprised at one or two things that come up!

Once this conversation occurs, each party will have a greater understanding of where everyone is coming from. But things don't end here - keep doubling back to the above questions over time and ensure that this communication remains open. Things will inevitably change as your kid grows and it pays dividends to remain on the same page.

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