As a coach I often have to deal with pushy parents, and touchline coaches at sporting events. However on a recent Sunday morning I noticed how parents behave during a rugby tag match. It was strange how many parents use it for social gathering with gazebos fold up chairs and picnic hampers. Wandering around chatting with their double expresso or latte grande, very few appeared to actually be interested in the sporting endeavours of their children.
I remember playing rugby as a kid, my mum or dad stood in a big coat watching on the side lines, always watching the game and shouting encouragement – not waving from 20 meters away as they open the next Marks and Spencer’s sandwich or Waitrose crudité. I felt they were supporting me and taking an active interest, however we appear to have a part of society where social events take the fore and even things their child wants to do becomes part of the social calendar. It is something I would expect at Henley or possibly the cricket, but 6 a-side tag rugby match?
It may be how some middle class parents view sport, but looking at it from a child-parent point of view, does the child feel as if they are getting support or is it just what they have got used to? In my opinion, when a parent who is supposedly watching the match is surprised when a parent congratulates them on their child scoring a try and they say “I didn’t notice…” you know that, in the car home, the child’s enthusiasm is going to be dashed when mum did not see it (and probably wouldn’t want to hear about it) .
Rant over…. many parents watch and enjoy their kids playing football, hockey rugby and other sports…. support them…it is very important, as research shows the best sports people had a very supportive family…. so please don’t bring the croissants and cheese …actually show your child some respect and pay attention.
Till next week
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