THE PARENT-AS-COACH IS PERCEIVED TO BE POSITIVE BY A MAJORITY OF FEMALE ATHLETES
Corliss, C., Olson, M. S., & Williford, H. N. (20007). Self-reports of female athlete’s experiences with a parent-coach in youth sports: A qualitative inquiry. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans. Presentation Number 2261.
This study explored the most prominent aspects of the parent-coach experience in college-aged females who had had a parent-coach in their youth sports career. Ss (N = 36) attending a medium-sized university in the southeast who had a parent-coach in their youth (between the ages 5-15 years) completed a researcher-developed survey. Sports represented were basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, and swimming. Ss (83%) were coached by a father and 17% were coached by a mother.
There was a higher prevalence of positive versus negative self-reported experiences. For example, 64% indicated that the most positive aspect of having a parent-coach was “spending quality time together.” Nearly half (47%) indicated that the second most positive aspect was that it was “motivating to have a parent as their coach.” The majority (67%) indicated “increased pressure” having a parent-coach. Few Ss reported experiencing a “greater level of unduly negative” (N = 5) or “unfair treatment” (N = 2) being the child of the coach. Frequent recommendations encompassed themes related to egalitarianism, motivation and encouragement. The most frequent recommendation (40%) was to “treat your child the same as the other athletes.” The second most frequent response (16%) was to “not avoid praising your child, fearing observers might perceive this as favoritism.”
Implication. The parent-coach arrangement generally was perceived to have been a positive experience by college females.
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