Enrolling kids for sports inspires parents


"We found that parents also are affected when their children play organised team sports," said Travis Dorsch, doctoral student in health and kinesiology at the Purdue University (P-U).
While children are making friends and learning to work well in groups, parents are practicing the same behaviours in the stands and on the sidelines.
Spousal communication also improved as adults coordinated logistics for carpooling and attending practices and games, whereas other parents noted improving their time management skills.
Some parents reported maintaining friendships after their children finished with sports, and others talked about how they experienced an emotional loss when they were finished being a sports parent and no longer had those opportunities for adult "playdates".
One mother even shared that her child scolded her for being so loud on the sidelines. "You know, that made me re-evaluate a little how I was looking at others around me," said the parent, who reported improving her behaviour because of her child's comments.
Other parents reported they were proud of their children and were even motivated themselves to learn about or begin playing the sports their children participated in, said a P-U release.
Another parent said that when her child decided to play tennis, she took up the sport as well. "I never would have done that," the parent said.
"I don't think it's terribly surprising that parents connect with one another, but what was surprising is the intensity of that connection," said Alan Smith, P-U associate professor of health and kinesiology (branch of physiology that studies the mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement).
In 2006, more than 57 million children under the age of 18 participated in organised sport programmes, according to the National Coaching Report.
Their results are published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

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