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Knowing How to Win as a Sports Parent:

Aligning Goals with your Child

Introduction

As a parent, it's easy to feel like you and your child aren't always on the same page. To help with this, begin by determining if you and your child are aligned on your respective sport goals. Goal alignment between a parent and child is the foundation of a healthy relationship in sport and life.

If goals are aligned, all of the other efforts of high performance parenting are much more straightforward. If goals are different, engaging in a conversation to better understand each other's motivations can resolve misunderstandings and help avoid well-intentioned but poorly-received offerings of support.

In this module, we'll explore the dos and don'ts of determining whether your goals are aligned with your child's and where to take the conversation from there.

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Do's and Don'ts

DO reflect on why you want your child participating in sport.

DON'T underestimate the importance of aligning goals. While it's a simple concept, it's the essential first step in productive sport parenting.

DO ask your child why they want to participate in their sport and be sure to listen to their response.

DON'T assume that you and your child are on the same page. Even if you've talked about it before, motivations and goals can change over time and with experience.

DO think about why you like to play or compete in your sport.

DON'T be concerned if your reasons for playing evolve over time. It's normal for experiences, development, and age to influence motivations to participate.

DO share your motivations with your parents and other significant supporters in your life. You can also write or type them out and keep them somewhere so that you can refer to this list often.

DON'T fall into the trap of playing only because other people want you to. Find something you enjoy about playing and competing.

We just identified that it's crucial to align your motivating factors.

Let's Rank Them:

Drag and drop to rank the order of reasons for encouraging your child to participate in sport.

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2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Making parents/coaches proud
Have fun
Develop and improve their ability
Awards and honors
Expectations of others
Winning
Go to college
Connect with others playing

Drag and drop to rank the order of reasons that you're motivated to play sport(s).

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Making parents/coaches proud
Have fun
Develop and improve their ability
Awards and honors
Expectations of others
Winning
Go to college
Connect with others playing

Reflect on these questions

PARENT, ASK YOURSELF:

If I am supporting my child's purpose for participating in sport, how might I encourage them accordingly?

How might I challenge them effectively?

PARENT, ASK YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILD:

Where is there currently alignment?

Where is there currently misalignment?

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