As a parent of a talented young sports person, it can become overwhelming for you as you face many challenges to support your child’s progression.
We have produced a few hints and tips for parents, which can be applied to both equestrian athletes and also across other sports. You are the backbone of your child’s success, but as with anything it’s all about finding the right balance:
1. Remember no one understands their child better than mum or dad, trust your gut instincts when it comes to making important decisions!
2. It can be an emotional roller-coaster so make sure you have dealt with your own baggage, don’t try to live your life through them.
3. You will provide the transport and the unpaid support crew / groom. Make sure you have budgeted for this time in your own life and have a plan as to how this will be funded long term. Take this as seriously as you would a business plan.
4. Help them to build a social media following, but don?t take over the content creation. It becomes very obvious when social media channels are purely run by the parent. Original content and their own personality coming across will influence potential sponsors.
5. Help them build a strong support crew who can be relied on e.g. someone who is able to coach, physio for both rider and horse, farrier and vet.
6. Whether it’s win or lose, the mindset you share with your child sets the tone for their future.
7. Let your coach ‘coach’ and give enough space for this relationship to flourish.
8. Diarise potential training sessions and competition demands for the year. This will ensure that you are fully prepared for any hotspots around exams or coursework deadlines.
9. Get to know other parents as they will become your personal support network.
10. Find out what organisations can help you and what the National Governing Bodies (NGB) are for your sport. In the case of Equestrian, for example, it would be BEF or one of the disciplines like BE, BD or BS. Also, see further helpful links below.
The Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme https://www.tass.gov.uk/sports/ Although this is not currently open to equestrian athletes.
England Excel Talent Programme http://www.bef.co.uk/Detail.aspx?page=Excel-Talent-Programme Identifies riders with talent.
Performance Parent https://www.youthsporttrust.org/yst-performance-parent Register your interest in their portal for parents.
Free Access to Local Authority Leisure centres for people who compete at ?County? Level https://www.molevalley.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=17056 This is an example from a Local Authority in Surrey. You will need to research your own area to see if this is available.