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How dads can best support their children's sporting interest

Blog Post Teaser Image Most dads are hard-wired to want their kids to improve.

When they play outside with their sons and daughters they’ll invariably turn a game into a teaching session.

“Hold the ball a little firmer!”

“Sit up straighter and you’ll balance better!”

“Keep your right arm straight and make sure you watch the ball!”

Sound familiar?

This teaching is well-intentioned as dads want their kids to do better.

A dad’s enthusiasm to improve his son or daughter’s performance isn’t restricted to the backyard.

It often shows itself at children’s sports events when he freely shares his knowledge and experience with his progeny.

Sometimes a dad’s advice can do more harm than good. It can turn kids off sport and physical activity, particularly if he doesn’t know when to stop.

Research shows that kids under the age of ten predominantly play sport for two reasons – fun and friendships. Winning and playing well tend to more important for (male) adults than kids.

If you (or a dad you know) enthusiastically gives/shouts advice to your children when they’re playing sport then here are six words to use instead:


Kids love it when their parents are interested in them and their activities. They are not so keen when parents become coaches.

If you want your child to continue playing sport into adolescence and beyond then be an enthusiastic supporter not an enthusiastic coach.

It’s hard for many blokes to restrict themselves to the support role as coaching is in their DNA. But that’s no excuse. And we need to learn better ways if we want our kids to continue to enjoy participating in

So start practising, “I love to watch you play!”

There, that’s not so hard!

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