Parental Influence on Children's Sports

How does parental influence affect their children's sports? We'll tell you about some important aspects related to parenting and sporting support.
Parental Influence on Children's Sports

Last update: 22 May, 2020

Before learning about the parental influence on children’s sports, it’s important to talk about the meaning of family. According to Valdivia Sánchez (2008), the family is, ” A group of people related to each other who live among themselves.” What consequences do parents’ attitudes about sports have on their children?

Why is it important to know about the family? In fact, there are several types of families that we must recognize. This means that we can analyze the relationship between parents and athletes. In this way, you can work together.

In addition, it’s important to be aware of the types of parenting that help families and athletes to have a better relationship. From here, you can take the necessary measures to achieve sporting goals.

Parenting styles and parental influence

There are four different types of parentingThe first includes authoritarian parents, who are the most demanding.

The second style is more permissive: there are usually no limits and they want to always please their children. Meanwhile, the third type of parent is authoritative, balanced, and prioritizes the well-being of their children. Finally, the fourth type is neglectful, where the parents are absent or use violence against their children.

The goal is always to be authoritative and democratic, which helps you become a successful support for your child’s competitions and training. For other types of upbringing, it’s important to work on communication so that athletes have enough support for games or matches.

A dad and his son working out at home.

The characteristics of athletes

There are certain habits that parents can instill in their children and ones that shape their characteristics as athletes:

  • Passion and dedication to sportsit’s important for parents to support their children’s choice in sports. Therefore, don’t make your child take part in a sport that you always wanted to do.
  • Concentration and control: when athletes can control pressure and anxiety, they can reach their goals. Parental influence can also help.
  • Frustration tolerance and competitiveness: it’s important for parents to teach their children the importance of accepting defeat and victory. Also, it can be a life lesson to know that there are always things you can improve.
  • Patience and teamworkit’ll always be important for athletes to be able to work as a team, to communicate and accept differences. In fact, this happens when they have the support of their parents without having the need or pressure to compare themselves to others.

Influence of parents on their children’s sports

Most of the time athletes see their parents as successful figures. For this reason, the support they give will be essential for their athletes to feel safeconfident, and give their best. However, this doesn’t always happen.

In this way, we can categorize parents into the following roles in relation to their children’s sports:

  • Investors: they care about their child, and provide all of the necessary equipment to play their sport. Also, they take the child to train or to games so he feels comfortable and prepared.
  • Coaches: they become one more coach, giving their child orders for plays or situations that he faces. However, this can confuse athletes, since they don’t know who they should listen to.
  • Cheerleaders: it’s important for parents to convey a positive message during competitions. Usually, parents become cheerleaders and celebrate their child’s successes, or get mad when he has been fouled. It’s important to keep calm in these moments because it can cause anxiety before or during tournaments.
Two parents on the sideline of a soccer game.
  • Absent: these are parents who support their children, but prefer not to get too involved. Usually, they lack interest, time, or knowledge of the sport. Sometimes, they don’t realize that this can make their child upset that his parents don’t support him.

Parental influence on a competitive attitude

Before games, parents need to reassure athletes to prevent stress or fear before a competition. In addition, they should always emphasize that having fun is the most important thing. At the end of the day, it should always be something you enjoy, and there will always be something to improve.

During games, it’s important for parents to communicate the importance of safety, both verbally and nonverbally. Besides, they should always reinforce good plays, not maximizing their child’s mistakes.

After the competition, it’s important for parents to hear from their children whether or not they failed, how they felt about the tournament. Then, they can give them space to vent on the good or bad that happened. In addition, it’s important to highlight the positive parts of the game. That way, you can help your child understand and help the emotions he goes through/


Finally, as we’ve mentioned, there are different types of families, upbringings, and parents within sports. It’s important to always stay informed and know the procedures to support child athletes in the most appropriate ways. Parental influence definitely affects your child’s time playing sports.

Communication is a tool for parents to help their children to be better in their sports, and more importantly, to learn how to accept defeats and victories.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.