Here at Hoops Connect, we’re all about making friends. So after Gordon MacLelland, founder of Working With Parents In Sport (WWPIS), published a blog post highlighting how useful our app can be to parents looking to get their children playing sport, it’s only polite that we return the favour! Gordon, take it away…
At Working With Parents in Sport we aim to support parents to help them create the best possible sporting environment for children.
We provide presentations and workshops for organisations, coaches and parents to try and align them so that they are working together to promote a great sporting environment.
Having spent a whole life in sport as a player, coach and administrator I was very aware of some of the issues facing parents with children in sport that go way beyond just what happens on the touchline.
What scared me most was my own attitude and behaviour towards our eldest son when he took his first steps in sport. I got many things wrong but fortunately was able to change my behaviour in time before it caused permanent damage.
What concerned me was that I knew all of the danger areas and was educated in this field yet human emotion took over. If it happened to me, what chance does a parent with no real sporting background have in helping their child?
So, we set out to create a resource and website that could be understood by all, and was affordable too.
We believe that every parent in sport should be able to access as much information as they need.
— WWPIS (@_WWPIS) November 12, 2017
“Parents should offer huge emotional support”
Parents play an absolutely vital role in their children’s sporting development.
They are the main support. They provide kit, equipment, huge emotional support – not to mention a taxi service!
Organisations and coaches may have lost sight of this and one of the big challenges they face is engaging parents in a fun and understanding way.
Many parents are upset about being shamed and preached at by organisations, and as a result many are no longer positively engaged.
If this can be reversed, the benefits for the children are huge.
“Children are playing less sport – it’s really sad to see”
It saddens me to say that, going forwards, I think there will be less children getting into sport than in the past.
We only have to look at the continued rise in obesity rates to see that there is not as much exercise going on as previously and the world of computers and social media certainly has had a part to play in this.
I think there will definitely be less playing outside and getting great exercise in an unstructured environment going on, and that is really sad to see.
We want to help parents create an environment that allows children to participate in sport and exercise for a lifetime. That should be the number one success criteria.
Many start sports but drop out by their teenage years and one of the main reasons is they no longer see the sport as fun. This is something that we must address.
Primarily children should get into sport because it is fun – an opportunity to make friends and learn new skills. The physical benefits of sport and exercise are obvious but it is the social and psychological benefits that are often overlooked.
Sport teaches children life skills such as teamwork, respect and fair play. It increases confidence and self-esteem and can help reduce stress and anxiety. It allows children to learn from failure, build resilience and improve communication skills.
There are many more benefits too – but there is plenty of reasons to get children active listed above!
INFOGRAPHIC – It is a very fine line in sport between being a pushy parent or a supportive parent. There are very subtle differences – Which side of the line do you fall?https://t.co/XI2P3l7si8 pic.twitter.com/uPiaRWo360
— WWPIS (@_WWPIS) November 16, 2017
“Want to get good at one sport? Play as many as different sports as possible!”
Parents looking to get their children involved in a new sport should find out as much as they can about what’s happening in their area – Hoops Connect is one great way to do just that!
Allow your child at a young age to sample as many sports as possible – don’t just settle on the first one that you find your child is good at, they may well be good at lots of different sports.
Unfortunately, in the pursuit of fame and glory many parents have committed to just one sport all-year round. There may be some short term benefits in what the child achieves but it is simply because they are committing more time.
Long term there are major issues including burnout, no longer having fun and repetitive injuries.
Many top sportsmen and women were multi-sport participants in their younger years.
Hoops is now available in app stores, so you can use us to find opportunities for any sport or fitness activity you can think of. Simply click here to download the app for Android, and here for iOS – or search for Hoops Connect.
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