The role of a parent is to assist and support their child in their dual career. The program is a personal development process and the stimulation of autonomy is very important. Therefore, parents should not be telling their children what to do or what not to do, but their role is more giving a direction and to be someone they can talk to when necessary. To give a clear overviews, we give an overview of activities that parents have to do to contribute to the dual career of their child.

The parents are overall the ones who feel mainly responsible for the personal development of their child, which makes them of great importance for a dual career. 

What do parents need to know?

  • The importance of a dual career for their child (what are the main advantages and how does this help them).

  • The club’s dual career vision / philosophy (to know in what ways their children will be supported). 

  • That sporting development will never be at the expense of a healthy development and personal well-being.

  • That athletes are in the end responsible for their own development (the program is to support them with this).

How do you involve parents?

  • Make them aware of the DONA project by sending an email or a letter to all parents or devote some attention to it on the club’s website.

  • Optional: organise a first meeting for all the parents to make them aware of the importance and the state of affairs.

  • Organise a workshop for all parents (see implementation).

  • Ask them to participate in evaluations or reflection sessions about the program (or choose 1 or 2 parents who represent the others).

  • Be visible and let them know when and how they can reach out for you.

Guidelines for parents to participate:

  • You have to be willing to take part in evaluations about the program and about the development of their child.

  • You have to be aware of the importance of a dual career and the possible benefits an impact it might have on theri childs life.

  • You have to be aware of the club’s vision regarding dual careers.

  • You have to encourage their child to take ownership over their own development and utilise the support that is available for them.

  • You have to be aware of the goals of their child to be able to remind her what her drive is and what she is working for.

Results from best practices from the Erasmus Plus ICDC project

  1. Parents are formally responsible and therefore should be well informed and involved in longterm development of sports talents, especially among younger sports talents.

  2. Parental contact is often problem-driven and situation-dependent. As a sports club, it is essential to focus on structural evaluation moments between coaches, sports talents and their parents. This might lead to an emphatic orientation towards each other and better mutual understanding of certain choices.

  3. Inform talents and parents thoroughly about what it means to enter a talent development program and involve parents structurally in evaluation moments and decision-making during the process.

  4. Involving parents in talent development at sports clubs can sometimes be complicated. As a sports club, supervise the contact between coaches and parents and making clear what coaches and parents are responsible for regarding dual careers.

  5. Explain the sport club’s vision on Dual Career to parents and make them part of the progress..

  6. Involve parents in their child’s elite sports training / education. Take, for example, parents’ meetings or invite parents to workshops on themes such as nutrition, doping or recovery.

  7. Parents need to be trained on the goal, benefits, impact and requirements of Dual Career.

  8. Organize Dual Career awareness sessions for parents (exchange between parents, information evenings, workshops).

  9. Make it clear to parents that sporting development must never be at the expense of healthy, general (psychosocial) development and the well-being of young sports talents.

  10. Let parents encourage sport talents to take ownership over their own development and utilise the support that is avalaible to them.

  11. Explain to parents how they can provide sport talents with the necessary emotional, tangible and informational support to achieve in Dual Career.

sylvia karres