The importance of accepting athletes
“The title of a book is equal to a thousand words” and perhaps even more pages. Especially when it comes to books about children-athletes and their relationship with their parents. “Will you continue to love me even if I do not win?”, is titled a foreign-language book, which reflects the concern of young (and older) at-age athletes about their parents attitude towards them.
Parents attitude towards sport refers to the way parents treat sport and support the athlete, as well as their general behaviour towards the child s athletic activity.
Regarding the attitude of the parents, this is expressed through their beliefs and opinions about the concept of sport. What is their placement for the beneficial or non-effect of sport, the importance of effort and work, the impact of victory and defeat, who is the protagonist of the “performance” called “sport”?
The attitude of the parents and their verbal and non-verbal response to the above questions and situations have the greatest, perhaps, impact on the activation of the children-athletes and the behaviour/attitude of the athletic situations on their part.
For athletes, training and struggles are often a way of gaining parental acceptance, knowing that for parents, victory and success are of great importance. Thus, they are engaged in an attempt to win the victory, accompanied, however, by anxiety, reflection, anxiety, tension and ultimately, reduced or no satisfaction at all. They know that parents behaviour will be different after the defeat, they will say “I do not care that you lost but that you tried,” but their behaviour may “say” others, and its impact will be emotionally unbearable for The young athlete. Children participate in sports and acceptance, which gives self-esteem, but when accepting “presupposes” victory, then the struggle and sport, in general, acquires a negative sign for the young athlete. This is the agonizing effort to win the victory.
It is important to focus on parents attitudes towards sports concepts and situations in order to improve the experiences of children in sport. A young athlete describes: “my parents say they do not pay attention to the result, but when I win I go out for food and when I lose I stay at home and we do not talk to each other.” It is difficult for a young child to negotiate the situation in which it indirectly defines the family program. Children, especially at an early age, to whom they can not analyze certain situations, give much more importance to the sense they receive in non-verbal messages than in what they say, which is likely to be true. It is very easy for a young athlete to “misunderstand” the differentiation of parent behaviour after defeat or victory. At this point, it is essential that the attitude of the parents is stable in the athletic situations so that the athlete is sure that “his parents will continue to love him regardless of the outcome.”