It is widely accepted that parents are a pivotal part of young people’s sporting journey, and over the last 4 decades there has been a substantial growth in research pertaining to youth sport parenting. The aim of this paper is to review the status of the literature pertaining to parenting in youth sport and suggest areas for future work. Specifically, the author provides a very brief history of sport parenting research before turning attention to the 3 areas of study that are currently attracting the majority of researchers’ attention: the influence of parental involvement in youth sport, factors affecting parental involvement in youth sport, and strategies to promote high-quality parental involvement. Future research directions pertaining to the sport parenting questions that are asked, the populations that are sampled, and the interventions that are developed and evaluated are subsequently provided. Finally, the paper concludes with some considerations for best practice in sport clubs and organizations that seek to foster more adaptive youth sport parenting.
Camilla J. Knight
Camilla J. Knight and Nicholas L. Holt
The purposes of this study were to identify the strategies parents use to be able to support their children’s involvement in competitive tennis and identify additional assistance parents require to better facilitate their children’s involvement in tennis. Interviews were conducted with 41 parents of junior players in the United States. Data analysis led to the identification of 4 strategies parents used to be able to support to their children: spouses working together, interacting with other parents, selecting an appropriate coach, and researching information. Five areas where parents required additional assistance were also identified. These were understanding and negotiating player progression, education on behaving and encouraging players at tournaments, evaluating and selecting coaches, identifying and accessing financial support, and managing and maintaining schooling. These findings indicated that parents “surrounded themselves with support” to facilitate their children’s involvement in tennis but required additional information regarding specific aspects of tennis parenting.
Nicholas L. Holt, Camilla J. Knight, and Peter Zukiwski
The purpose of this study was to examine female varsity athletes’ perceptions of teammate conflict. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 19 female varsity athletes (M age = 21.17 years) from four sport teams. Analysis revealed that conflict was a prevalent feature of playing on their teams. Conflict relating to performance and relationships was identified. Strategies athletes thought may help create conditions for managing conflict were to (a) engage in team building early in the season, (b) address conflict early, (c) engage mediators in the resolution of conflict, and (d) hold structured (rather than unstructured) team meetings. It also seemed that athletes required personal conflict resolution skills. These findings are compared with previous research and offered as implications for professional practice.
Jenny McMahon, Camilla J. Knight, and Kerry R. McGannon
Research on abuse in sport reveals that sporting environments are unique contexts where athlete abuse can occur. An international panel on “safe sport” identified the need to implement strategies to ensure sport is safe for all. One strategy identified as a way of preventing abuse from occurring in sport is to educate the parents of athletes. This study centres on an education intervention implemented with 14 parents from a gymnastics and swimming context where narrative pedagogy (e.g., athletes’ stories of abuse) was used. As a result of engaging with narrative pedagogy, parents were able to identify unacceptable coaching practices. However, the extent of several dominant cultural ideologies (e.g., competitive performance ideology) became known through the parents’ responses and influenced the way they took up the athletes’ abuse stories.
Paul A. Sellars, Stephen D. Mellalieu, and Camilla J. Knight
This study explored stakeholders’ perceptions of Welsh adolescent participation in rugby union. A Straussian grounded-theory approach was adopted and data collection was conducted via semistructured interviews with 15 individuals involved in Welsh adolescent rugby union. Data were analyzed through open and axial coding procedures and theoretical integration. Stakeholders perceived that continued rugby participation resulted from a positive evaluation of one’s participation in the sport and one’s ability to cope with the demands experienced throughout transitions during adolescence. Overall, the findings provide a substantive grounded theory of stakeholders’ perceptions of continued adolescent participation in Welsh rugby union, and applied implications, in an aim to promote continued sport participation.
Wendy M. Rodgers, Camilla J. Knight, Anne-Marie Selzler, Ian L. Reade, and Gregory F. Ryan
The purposes of this study were to, (a) assess motivational experiences of performance enhancement tasks (PET) and administrative tasks (AT), and; (b) examine the relationships of emergent motivational experiences of each task type to coaches’ perceived stress and intentions to continue coaching. In total, 572 coaches completed an online survey, which assessed autonomy, competence, relatedness, and other characteristics of PET and AT, intentions to continue coaching, and perceived stress. Two separate exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were conducted, one for AT and one for PET. This was followed up with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and SEM to examine relationships between emerging factors and stress and intentions. The factors generated for PET reflected ideas of autonomy, time conflict, and satisfaction, and for AT also included competence, effort, and job requirements. The resulting experiences of AT and PET appear to have different influences on stress and intentions, suggesting their distinction will be important in future work examining coach retention.
Sara W. Szabo, Emily C. Owen, Michael D. Kennedy, and Camilla J. Knight
The purpose of this study was twofold: first, to identify who engaged with the Keeping Girls in Sport e-learning program and, second, to evaluate coach and activity leaders’ perceptions of the program and their perceived learnings gained from completing the program. An explanatory sequential mixed-method design was adopted. First, an online survey was distributed to all individuals who had participated in the program. In total, 511 (33% response rate) completed the survey. Quantitative survey data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Subsequently, interviews were conducted with 20 survey respondents. A realist logic of analysis was applied to the qualitative data, and context–mechanism–outcome configurations were formed. Overall, survey findings indicated that most participants identified as women (56%), coaches (69%), and were between 40 and 49 years of age (37%). In general, participants had positive perceptions of the program. Participants perceived that the accessibility and flexibility of the program increased opportunities to engage with content and, thus, their learning. They described improvements in knowledge and perspective regarding working with female athletes. This increase in knowledge provided participants with confidence to establish trusting and positive relationships with others, specifically parents. Nevertheless, participants highlighted a need for more tailored but also more expansive programs.