Parents play an essential role in children’s athletic development. They introduce children to paddlesports and provide support and guidance for their benefit. Parents help children develop a lifelong love of paddlesports.
Consider the following recommendations to help ensure a child’s positive paddlesports experience:
- Understand your child’s interests and the sports pathways, and be objective about what to expect from your child based on age and development.
- Encourage your child to participate in several sports until age 12+ to improve physical literacy and give a child a chance to find enjoyment in a sport(s). Let the child fall in love with the sport of his/her choosing.
- Promote cross-training and multi-sport participation to keep a child from burning out or developing overuse injuries.
- Champion child’s sports development and proficiency over performance outcomes and winning.
- Enroll your child in age-appropriate activities to ensure healthy progression and skill development before advancing to a heavy volume of training and competition.
- Monitor the intensity and duration of a child’s sport participation each week and encourage rest and recovery.
- Ask for feedback from coaches on your child’s development and maintain interest in your child’s experience over performance outcomes.
- Be prepared to invest an extraordinary amount of time and resources, and continue to provide behind-the-scenes support for your child after s/he grows in athletic ability.
- Sports are, first and foremost, games. Support and encourage your child to play and have fun.