It can’t be easy to be a young person in 2023. We live in a world where technological advances are happening at rates we can barely keep up with, social media is a rabbit hole that comes with many dangers for young people and organised sport is the primary avenue for kids to play. Society has changed, and is continuing to change rapidly.

From a coaching and parenting perspective, we have to be adaptable and open-minded in helping guide kids through their sporting experience with the aim of keeping them in the game.

Recently, I got to sit down and record another episode of The Athlete Development Show with Dr. Craig Harrison for our regular chat called The Curious Mind. We spoke about several key topics:

If you’re interested in tuning in, click here: Curious Mind Episode 7 on The Athlete Development Show

Craig and I had this discussion to highlight some of the complexity that kids currently face in contemporary culture. We have to engage in more dialogue, have open forums and reasonable debate and discussion.

We also have to be honest, and ask ourselves, have we lost our way when it comes to adults providing opportunities for children in organised sport? Premature professionalism is everywhere, when sport fundamentally should be about play, joy, challenge and belonging.

As Craig and I discussed, it’s critical for coaches and clubs to include parents in the dialogue, we have to collaborate, not compete with the interests of the young person in mind.

Two things to consider.

  1. Reflect on how you and your club or organisation engage with parents. Do you include or exclude them?
  2. Consider broader society and how it might be impacting the behaviour on the pitch and on the sideline. What can you do to influence positive change?

One thing for you to try this week.

Share a resource from the PDP website that made an impact on you with the parents of the players in your team.

One critical resource on the topic.

Check out this PDP Q&A video on how you can work with parents on the sideline.

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