Role of Parents in Physical Education and Sport

Parents are a significant element in the growth and development of children in all perspectives including health, education as well as sports. The involvement of parents in physical education and sports is viewed differently in regard to how it affects the child’s participation in sports even later in life. There are both positive and negative effects associated with the parents’ involvement in a child’s sports programs.

Therefore, there is need to manage the influence to make the experience appropriate for all the parties involved. The management of the influence should assist in eliminating conflicts related to what is taught by the parents and what the coaches and instructors teach the children and youths (France, 2008). This essay looks at physical education and sport in children. It will emphasize the role of parents and how they influence a child’s participation in sports.

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There are various roles that parents should play in youth’s sports program. Parents should be involved appropriately in the up bringing of their children and youths sports programs. However, there are roles they should play and in a certain manner to avoid influencing them negatively especially when it comes to professional participation in sports. There are a number of ways that parents can be involved in their children and youths sports programs, for instance, through parental encouragement of the child to be active.

Children’s involvement in physical activity depends heavily on the parents’ encouragement. For instance, it influences a child’s level of physical activity by enhancing the child’s perception of competence. The parent should, therefore, encourage their children/youths so as to build competence and a sense of mastery, which in turn promotes participation in physical activity.

Parents should also provide assistance in the child’s activity. It could be through practicing physical skills, playing games and walking. This helps in instilling the importance of physical activity and sports into the child. Parents should as well facilitate participation of their children and youths. This could be through provision of access to facilities, programs and necessary equipment. It is also the duty of a parent to be a role model to the child.

A parent should ensure that the child lives an active lifestyle irrespective of the cost that may be incurred. This helps in building confidence in the child as well as helping him/her to appreciate physical activity or sports. From the above information, it is clear that parents play a great role in determining participation of their children in physical activity. Encouragement, facilitation and assistance should be provided in moderation and in a friendly manner that creates the child’s interest (Sharma, 2010).

Some parents have led to poor participation of their children where they cultivate a spirit of laziness in their children. This is through discouraging them from playing and hence encouraging them to be glued to TVs and computers. Discouraging walking is also dangerous where the parents have a tendency of driving children to and from places like school, church and shopping centers.

This makes them anti-sport as they view physical activity as a bother and end up complaining to coaches and instructors in the learning institutions as well as at clubs and national sports centers. The parents should therefore take the responsibility of encouraging their children to exercise for their own good. They should also help them understand the importance of physical exercise so that they may take the initiative to remain active (Welk, 1999).

Coaches, clubs and national governing bodies have to use some strategies to quell inappropriate behavior in children and youths. The involvement of parents in their children and youths have been deemed to present challenges to the coaches and other individuals involved in sports due to the conflicting elements that occur between what they teach and what the parents have impacted to them right from childhood.

For this reason, there is need for coaches, clubs and national governing bodies to come up with strategies that are aimed at handling the inappropriate behavior in the children and youths in an effort to teach what should be done for better performance.

Some of the strategies that have been established include; getting in touch with the parents and advising them on how to get involved in their children’s sports. They should, for instance, find out what their children want in sports and help them achieve their desires rather than trying to control them.

Another issue that has been deemed to contribute to inappropriate behavior in sports is bad peer pressure. Coaches and other sports personnel have, therefore, taken a step of encouraging the youths to engage in productive activities that can foster their growth. Rules and regulations have also assisted in streamlining behavior and practices. This is because the rules guide on what is supposed to be done and what is to be avoided.

Another strategy that has been adopted to alleviate bad behavior is the provision of rewards to the well behaved individuals. This is a motivation factor towards avoiding bad behavior and adapting what is stipulated to be appropriate (Krotee and Bucher, 2006).

There are various consequences of over-the-top parental behavior on the athlete’s sport experience. Parents have become increasingly involved in the lives of their children athletes due to various reasons, for example, athletic scholarship and the importance given to professional sports.

Just like any other aspect, there are consequences that come hand in hand with over-the-top parental behavior on the athlete’s sport experience. Although involvement of parents in a child’s physical activity is highly encouraged, it should be done in moderation to avoid negative effects to the athlete’s sports experience. Over-involvement of parents has great negative effects on a child’s immediate and long-term experiences in sports.

Over- involvement of parents is not good as it makes the young athletes to have the feeling they are being controlled and not given a chance to make their own decisions in regard to playing sports, an aspect that is crucial in motivation. Lack of control in making decisions leads to the athletes losing interest in sports. Other consequences of over-involvement of the parents is decreased levels of enjoyment, low levels of satisfaction and to the extreme, it increases the chances of dropping out of sport (Anderssen & Wold, 1992).

It is evident that the aspect of physical education and sports among children has been taken seriously by most people including parents. Most parents have become more involved in the lives of their children. Involvement of parents in physical education and sports affect a child’s participation in sports both positively and negatively thus posing challenges to educational and sports institutions. Parents should, therefore, be involved in a moderate manner to avoid negative impacts.

Reference List

Anderssen, N., & Wold, B. (1992). Parental and peer influences on leisure-time physical activity in young adolescents. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 63(4), 341-348. EJ 460 509

France, C.R. (2008). Introduction to Physical Education and Sport Science. New York: Cengage Learning

Krotee, L.M. and Bucher, A.C. (2006). Management of Physical Education and Sport. New York: McGraw-Hill

Sharma, J.P. (2010). Management of Physical Education and Sports. New Delhi: Pinnacle Technology

Welk, G.J. (1999). Promoting Physical Activity in Children: Parental Influences. Retrieved from http://www.vtaide.com/png/ERIC/Physical-Activity.htm

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