Parental support in sports
Nice BBC article and video on the Johnson family and their support of Shawn as she trained over the last two years in her attempt to qualify for London.
...finding the balance of parental involvement in sport.
I know this topic has been discussed before, but curious if any of the NGB's present material to parents on finding that balance....acutallly giving them hints or tools as to how to work with a developing athlete? Does Skate Canada or USFS work with their parents on these areas....not looking for just something formulaic....do they offer real advice or resources on some of the areas discussed in the article/video, like how to deal with coaches, family sacrifices, specialization in a sport, how to help motivate your athlete in the appropriate manner?
USFS has a Parents Committee and there's a section on their website that offers some good information (including things like hiring/changing coaches). At many of the seminars, they also offer parent forums which are headed up by parents who've been through the experience of raising a competitive skater.
Lots of USFS clubs also have seminars for parents. My club has one this weekend. It's got two parts, one for the skater and one for the parents, and it's all about the mental aspects of skating.
I can't speak to figure skating, but my son is an aspiring golfer. His dream is to play for a college team, and ultimately in the PGA.
There's not a whole lot of information out there about what you should be doing if that is your child's goal. There's one organization, called the AJGA, that charges exhorbitant fees for membership ($200) and their events ($280), and they are the gold standard for college coaches. It's a scam, in my opinion - they just built a huge multi-million dollar headquarters on their non-profit fees. However, if your want your player to get noticed, that's where you go - there were 14 college coaches at the last event my son played in.
So if you want to help your child, it is a combination of talking to other parents, internet research, and hopefully a database through your high school team (that I am building since our high school is only five years old). It's sad.
I hope figure skating is more organized.
I'm not sure it's more organized because it's all grass-roots, which is pretty much guaranteed to be DISorganized. But there is more help for parents than in some sports, IMO. I think that's because it's so expensive so clubs want to help parents get their money's worth. Also, educated parents made better club members. OH and also it's a sport where you can't just take it up when you are in HS and hope to score. So that makes people want to understand how it works so they don't screw up early on.