Those darn parents
“Oh, those [# %^&*] parents!” That’s something I hear regularly as a coach. Curiously, it comes mainly from the parents themselves. Okay, let’s get something straight here.
Parents who require a lot of management are no more than one per cent. Generally, with them, the conversation starts with, “I’m not one of those intense parents like so-and-so, but….” And that’s when I know the discussion will be difficult.
Intensity is not a bad thing. It all depends on how that energy is focused. It should be used to contribute within the boundaries of the role that the parent must play in the skier-coach-parent relationship.
The parent is a crucial support for their child, as well as for the organization of the club.
In the evening, after ski training, a skier’s parents help and support their child in their education. They drive the youngster to the mountain early in the morning. They’re a technician, a therapist and the major sponsor.
They provide encouragement during the races and help build morale in the car on the way home. They organize fund-raising suppers, because skiing is expensive!
A skier’s parents also participate in the club’s organization. They go onto the trails to set up the safety nets, and sometimes smooth out the race courses to make them safe for races and training runs.
They question the coach, and some become coaches themselves. Others get involved in the board of directors or in the race committee.
They may be timers, officials, slope maintenance staff…. Others get involved in fundraising, because a ski club is expensive to run. The limits of what a parent can or should do are not always easy to respect. All parents want what’s good for their child. Some want to try to keep their child’s failures to a minimum and do all they can to smooth the road to success.
But confronting failure and disappointment in skiing is the best way to learn from mistakes without suffering really negative consequences. Others don’t hesitate to provide their youngster with technical advice. Whether good or bad, this kind of intervention often interferes with the established training program.
But the good things that parents do are clearly greater than the many stories recounted on the subject. Without the help of the parents, the club could not survive. Above all: no parents means no children to train.
More from this author by clicking on his picture below.
Jocelyn Huot30 Posts
Entraineur Chef du Club de ski Mont-Tremblant Entraineur Niveau 4 certifié FESC / PNCE Niveau 3 de l'Alliance des moniteurs de ski du Canada Formateur pour Alpine Canada depuis 2007 Head coach of the Mont-Tremblant Ski Club Leve 4 FESC/PNCE – certified coach, Level 3 CSIA/AMSC – certified instructor