The Lifelong Impact of a Parent-Coach: Perceptions of Sons and Daugthers

Peggy McCann, Siena Heights University, USA

Theme: Coaching/leadership

Poster Number: 92

Program ID: POS-2

Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Parent and coaches influence a child’s perception of competence, control, and enjoyment (e.g.,, Brustad, 1988; Averill & Power, 1995; Smith & Smoll, 1990). Little research has examined the influence of parent-coaches, however. Weiss and Fretwell (2005) found that the relationship between parent-coach and child could be cordial, contentious, and create a conundrum. Their research, however, failed to reveal the long-term impact of parent-coaches. This study examined the influence parent-coaches may have on their child over time. Eleven sons and daughters, coached by a parent, participated in retrospective interviews. Themes included Sharing Sport Experiences, Creating/Sharing a Bond, Instilled Confidence, Delayed Understanding of How to Develop, Latent Realization of Ability, and Instilled Beliefs and Values About Sport. One son spoke of his love for the game, “I grew more in love with basketball and continued it throughout school and now at [college] I play intramurals. I play at least three times a week …and I think I enjoy it more than I would if he wouldn’t have gotten me into it.” A daughter spoke of how her father instilled a sense of effort, ‘I carry that with me, that it’s the hard work, and he helped instill it’s not about you, it’s about the team … I carry that attitude with me now when I do things in an athletic manner. It’s not about me and it’s not about winning, it’s about what’s good for the team and it’s about how hard everybody works.” Results indicated the level of involvement of the parent -coach did contribute to the quality of the relationship and developmental outcomes overtime. Participants experienced changes in self-perceptions, as well as affect and motivation. . Implications include designing coaching education programs that provide specific training for parent-coaches and the potential impacts on developmental outcomes in sport.

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