Here are some real life experiences;
1. One parent tracks the scores of each and every competitor in his child’s event, then ahead of the next competitions, comments as follows;
“ She has only scored +++/600, you can easily beat her and stand first”
Result: The child came under pressure and shot her worst score in the match.
2. Another parent continuously says:
“ Her IQ is low, she does not pick up things very fast “
I told the parent that henceforth, you will not comment on her IQ, she is a brilliant girl and IQ just measures one aspect of your child’s intelligence.
In addition to ticking off her father, I told the girl that she was really talented and brilliant.
Result: The Child won a Gold Medal in the National School Games Championships.
3. Yet another parent expects National Level Medal winning performance from her daughter who practises only for one and half hour.
I explained to her mother, that though her daughter was talented, expecting a medal with only an hour and a half training is not going to work, considering that the National Champions are putting in five to six hours of training each day!
4. An extremely talented 17 year old boy, who shoots 583/600 in practice was threatened by his grandfather that he would no longer support the boy’s shooting in future since his National Competition scores did not match his practice scores.
So, what should I say to him?
Undoubtedly, the role of parents in the development of a shooter’s career is critical.
The question is; How much should they be involved in the day to day training of their child?
Ninety nine percent of the parents have no shooting experience, hence my sincere advice to them is that they find a good coach and leave it to the coach to train their child.
If the progress is satisfactory, continue supporting the child financially and mentally. But they must be prepared to be PATIENT for FIVE YEARS at the very least!
In the Maharashtra State Government Sports Academy, parents were allowed to spend time with their children twice during the summer and Diwali vacations. During the training period, parent visits were restricted for just a few hours, once each month.
This government policy of keeping the parents at arm’s length was so effective that the Sports Academies produced many international medal winning sportspersons.