Positive parental support can have a phenomenal impact on how young people experience sport.

Youth sport would not exist without the involvement and encouragement of parents and guardians.

They play a vital role in encouraging, enabling, and supporting children’s participation in their chosen sport – at every level and in every sport. They take on all the roles and responsibilities relating to providing opportunities, facilitating attendance, supporting young people, and communicating with coaches and other adults within clubs.

The NSPCC and other children focused charities and organisations have done vast amounts of research into what children want and need from their parents when they are taking part in youth sport.

While every child and parental relationship is different, generally this research shows that they want their parents to be supportive and encouraging without being pressuring.

Based on this research, the Child Protection in Sport Unit has produced insightful content for parents to help them best support their child as they excel in sport.

The CPSU suggests the following strategies to optimise your positive parental engagement in your child’s sporting activities:

  • Talk to your child – ask them how you can help them before, during, and after competitions and training.
  • Take time to reflect after competitions – were there any situations you were not expecting, did you react as you’d like?
  • Draw on your support network to help with some of the practical demands associated with sport.
  • Develop good relationships with other parents and coaches; you’re all in this together.
  • Identify the parts of your child’s involvement that you find challenging e.g., injuries or seeing them disappointed, and use strategies such as breathing techniques, distraction, keeping perspective, to help you cope with your own emotions in these situations.

More advice on positive parental support within sport can be found on the CPSU’s website.

Please use the Safeguarding section on our website or contact our Safeguarding Manager at safeguarding@britishtaekwondo.org if you have any additional questions about safeguarding within British Taekwondo.