Sun | Mar 18, 2018

ABC guide for parents of student athletes

Published:Sunday | March 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Kingston College's star Nathaniel Bann being helped on to a stretcher by medical personnel after picking up an injury during the boys' Class Two 4x100 metres at the 2015 Gibson-McCook Relays at the National Stadium.

With the 2016 Issa-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championship scheduled to begin on Tuesday the issue of dealing with athletes who can be transformed into instant stars with one good performance could be a major challenge for some parents.

Dealing with a student-athlete is not necessarily a walk in the park, and the role that parents play in the lives of these athletes has a significant impact on their experience.

According to the National Parenting Support Commission, as a parent, you have the most important and long-lasting influence on your child.

The Commission is urging parents who have a budding student-athlete to help them develop self-confidence and self-assurance so that they can learn valuable lessons from sports, such as overcoming disappointments, appreciating the value of hard-work, being humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

In addition, the Commission is recommending that you:

1. Allow your children to guide the sport experience and become aware of their dreams and ambitions whether that involves a future with sports.

2. Become your child's greatest supporter. By doing this, you will help to generate greater persistence and enthusiasm. Nurture their gifts by praising their qualities, monitoring their progress, and staying alert for signs of fatigue, burnout or stress.

3. Support your child in maintaining their nutritional discipline. Foods containing too much fat and sugar may contribute to significant weight gain, moodiness, and irritability.

4. Build on your own knowledge of anti-doping issues in order to pass on that information to your child. The consumption of performance-enhancing substances can lead to long-standing medical conditions as well as affect their chances of making a successful career from their preferred sport.

5. Steer your child along the path of enjoying and developing their talents rather than competing for the sole purpose of winning.

6. Assist and encourage your child to bolster their system of support to include teachers, coaches and other parents. This support system should appreciate the value of academics and underscore the fact that a student's prowess on the track should be a complement to, and not a replacement to their studies.

For the upcoming Boys and Girls' Championships or "Champs", as we often call it, parents support your student-athletes in their quest for success even as you take the time to become involved in their holistic development.


You may contact the National Parenting Support Commission at 967-7977 or visit our social media pages:



NationalParentingSupport Commission, @NPSCJamaica