The experience of parent-coaches in youth sport: A qualitative case study from Australia

Samuel Elliott, Murray Drummond

Abstract


There has been increasing academic interest in understanding the nature of parental involvement in youth sport. Much scholarly focus has illuminated both positive and negative forms of sport parenting from the perspectives of coaches, parents and youth participants. One less understood aspect however surrounds the potentially conflicting role of parents who coach their own children in youth sport. This is surprising given that many parents, especially fathers, demonstrate support by fulfilling essential roles such as team manager and team coach (Jeffery-Tosoni, Fraser-Thomas, & Baker, 2015). This paper emerges from an Australian study of 16 parent-coaches involved in Australian football. The original purpose of the study was to understand the nature of the sport parenting role in youth sport in Australia. A number of pertinent themes were constructed surrounding the contemporary experiences of parent-coaches who coach their own children, and how coaching is subsequently justified. The findings illustrate how concerns of favouritism impact how parent-coaches interact with their child in contrast to the rest of the team, encouraging nuances of ‘negative’ parenting toward their own children under the guise of being the coach. Examples of this include demonstrating deliberate criticism at training and matches and overlooking their child in awarding encouragement awards after each weekly match. Significantly, parent-coaches justify these behaviours in attempting to fulfil the dual role of parent and team coach. We argue that this can be potentially problematic for some parent and child relationships and have a reinforcing influence on how other parent-coaches negotiate being a parent and coach. 


Keywords


youth sport, parent involvement, Australian football, parent-coaches

Full Text:

PDF

References


Atkins, M. R., Johnson, D. M., Force, E. C., & Petrie, T. A. (2014). Peers, Parents, and Coaches, Oh My! The Relation of the Motivational Climate to Boys’ Intention to Continue in Sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.10.008

Bois, J. E., Lalanne, J., & Delforge, C. (2009). The influence of parenting practices and parental presence on children's and adolescents' pre-competitive anxiety. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27(10), 995-1005. doi: 10.1080/02640410903062001

Bowker, A., Boekhoven, B., Nolan, A., Bauhaus, S., Glover, P., Powell, T., & Taylor, S. (2009). Naturalistic observations of spectator behaviour at youth hockey games. The Sport Psychologist, 23(3), 301-316. doi: 10.1123/tsp.23.3.301

Burgess, N. S., Knight, C. J., & Mellalieu, S. D. (2016). Parental stress and coping in elite youth gymnastics: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 1-20. doi: 10.1080/2159676X.2015.1134633

Burr, V. (2003). Social Constructionism (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Coakley, J. (2006). The good father: Parental expectations and youth sports. Leisure Studies, 25(2), 153-163. doi: 10.1080/02614360500467735

Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & research design. Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Creswell, J. W., & Miller, D. L. (2000). Determining validity in qualitative inquiry. Theory into Practice, 39(3), 124-130. doi: 10.1207/s15430421tip3903_2

Dorsch, T., Smith, A. L., & McDonough, M. H. (2009). Parents' perceptions of child-to-parent socialisation in organised youth sport. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology 31(4), 444-468. doi: 10.1123/jsep.31.4.444

Elliott, S., & Drummond, M. (2015a). Parents in youth sport: what happens after the game? Sport, Education and Society(ahead-of-print), 1-16. doi: 10.1080/13573322.2015.1036233

Elliott, S., & Drummond, M. (2015b). The (limited) impact of sport policy on parental behaviour in youth sport: a qualitative inquiry in junior Australian football. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 7(4), 519-530. . doi: 10.1080/19406940.2014.971850

Elliott, S., & Drummond, M. (2016). During play, the break, and the drive home: the meaning of parental verbal behaviour in youth sport. Leisure Studies, 1-12. doi: 10.1080/02614367.2016.1250804

Goldstein, J. D., & Iso-Ahola, S. E. (2008). Determinants of parents' sideline-rage emotions and behaviours at youth soccer games. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38(6), 1442-1462. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2008.00355.x

Gould, D., Lauer, L., Rolo, C., Jannes, C., & Pennisi, N. (2006). Understanding the role parents play in tennis success: a national survey of junior tennis coaches. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(7), 632-636. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2005.024927

Holt, N. L., Tamminen, K. A., Black, D. E., Sehn, Z. L., & Wall, M. P. (2008). Parental involvement in competitive youth sport settings. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 9(5), 663-685. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2007.08.001

Jeffery-Tosoni, S., Fraser-Thomas, J., & Baker, J. (2015). Parent Involvement in Canadian Youth Hockey: Experiences and Perspectives of Peewee Players. Journal of Sport Behavior, 38(1), 3-25.

Keegan, R. J., Harwood, C. G., Spray, C. M., & Lavallee, D. E. (2009). A qaulitative investigation exploring the motivational climate in early career sport participants: coach, parent and peer influences on sport motivation. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10(3), 361-372. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2008.12.003

Keegan, R. J., Spray, C., Harwood, C., & Lavallee, D. (2010). The motivational atmosphere in youth sport: coach, parent and peer influences on motivation in specialising sport participants. Journal of applied sport psychology, 22(1), 87-105. doi: 10.1080/10413200903421267

Knight, C. J., & Holt, N. L. (2014). Parenting in youth tennis: Understanding and enhancing children's experiences. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15(2), 155-164. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2013.10.010

Knight, C. J., Little, G. C., Harwood, C. G., & Goodger, K. (2016). Parental Involvement in Elite Junior Slalom Canoeing. Journal of applied sport psychology, 28(2), 234-256. doi: 10.1080/10413200.2015.1111273

Knight, C. J., Neely, K. C., & Holt, N. L. (2011). Parental behaviours in team sports: how do female athletes want parents to behave? Journal of applied sport psychology, 23(1), 76-92. doi: 10.1080/10413200.2010.525589

Lambert, S. D., & Loiselle, C. G. (2008). Combining individual interviews and focus groups to enhance data richness. Journal of advanced nursing, 62(2), 228-237. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04559.x

Lauer, L., Gould, D., Roman, N., & Pierce, M. (2010). Parental behaviors that affect junior tennis player development. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11(6), 487-496. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.06.008

Lindstrom Bremer, K. (2012). Parental Involvement, Pressure, and Support in Youth Sport: A Narrative Literature Review. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 4(3), 235-248. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-2589.2012.00129.x

Lombard, M., Snyder?Duch, J., & Bracken, C. C. (2002). Content analysis in mass communication: Assessment and reporting of intercoder reliability. Human communication research, 28(4), 587-604. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2002.tb00826.x

Omli, J., & Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M. (2011). Kids Speak: Preferred Parental Behavior at Youth Sport Events. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 82(4), 702-711. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2011.10599807

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Shields, D. L., LaVoi, N. M., Bredemeier, B. L., & Power, F. C. (2007). Predictors of poor sportpersonship in youth sports: Personal attitudes and social influences. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 29(6), 747-762. doi: 10.1123/jsep.29.6.747

Smith, B., & Caddick, N. (2012). Qualitative methods in sport: a concise overview for guiding social scientific sport research. Asia Pacific journal of sport and social science, 1(1), 60-73. doi: 10.1080/21640599.2012.701373

Stefansen, K., Smette, I., & Strandbu, Å. (2016). Understanding the increase in parents’ involvement in organized youth sports. Sport, Education and Society, 1-11. doi: 10.1080/13573322.2016.1150834

Visek, A. J., Achrati, S. M., Manning, H., McDonnell, K., Harris, B. S., & Dipietro, L. (2014). The Fun Integration Theory: Towards Sustaining Children and Adolescents Sport Participation. Journal of physical activity & health, 12(3). doi: 10.1123/jpah.2013-0180

Weiss, M. R., & Fretwell, S. D. (2005). The parent-coach/child-athlete relationship in youth sport: cordial, contentious or conundrum? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 76(3), 286-305. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2005.10599300

Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research. Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.17161/jas.v3i3.6511

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.