AIS Research Week 1

31 July 2015

Father’s influence and teenage sport.

During the three-year Australian Institute of Sport study, teenage participants were asked to rank the influence/support of their fathers across eight key areas that assisted them to succeed as a teenager and then on to further success in senior sport. The sports targeted were cricket, AFL, tennis and kayaking.

The eight key areas were: helping access higher coaching, facilitated playing at home when young, physical preparation, emotional support, financial support, technical advice, formal information about the sport and fathers being a fellow participant.

When teenage boys were asked to respond to these eight areas, they only identified one of the eight as significantly important: helping access higher coaching. The other seven areas, were identified by the teenage boys as minor in influence.

Teenage girls however, were substantially different. Of the eight areas, the girls identified five of the eight as significantly important: helping access higher coaching, facilitated playing at home when young, physical preparation, emotional support, financial support. Two other areas the girls responded to as medium influence, and only one was identified as minor in influence. This is an astonishing difference between the genders and how they see the role of their fathers.

The conclusion I drew from this, which has significance for girls participating in sport at Glennie, is that girls potentially want their dads involved in sport more than boys. Many dads, including myself, would think the opposite, that always going to see the boys play may seem to be the most appropriate option. As it turns out, the boys are quite happy by themselves and it is teenage girls who enjoy and require their father’s support more.

I hope this first reflection is helpful and thought provoking.  If you would like more information and would like to discuss further, please contact me.

Mr Greg Convery
Head of Department, Sports

converyg@glennie.qld.edu.au

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