Positive Parent Involvement
The primary goal of evidence-based parent education is to promote positive parent involvement. Coaches, administrators, and directors shared two distinct themes of positive parent involvement in intercollegiate athletics:
Key NCAA stakeholders described appropriate support as fostering student-athletes’ independence, facilitating the mission of the coaching staff and team, and being present to advocate for the student-athlete when necessary. A male head coach (men’s golf) noted that appropriate support occurs when a parent
…gives quality encouragement, support, and unconditional love for their child, regardless of their rate of achievement.
Coaches, administrators, and parents all suggested that parents who offer appropriate support help their children foster intrinsic satisfaction for their sport performance over the course of their intercollegiate careers. Moreover, appropriate parent support was described as integral for creating a positive dynamic between parents and the coaching staff, as well as between parents and NCAA student-athletes.
Coaches and administrators spoke unabashedly about the positive impact on athletes and teams when parents facilitate, rather than direct, their student-athletes’ athletic participation. Quite simply, key NCAA stakeholders noted the distinct positive outcomes associated with parents who facilitate growth and independence in their student-athletes. According to key stakeholders, this pattern of involvement occurred most regularly when coaches communicated frequently with parents about how to help their children while maintaining enough space that coaches could do their jobs effectively. As a male head coach (women’s soccer) stated: