ELITE FEMALE HOCKEY PLAYERS: AN EXPLORATION OF PARENTAL INFLUENCE AND SUPPORT
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The focus of this research is in the area of Socio- culture and aims to establish what support levels parents provide for their sporting child and what influences are transmitted to their child in order to become successful in hockey. Such a study is important in order to explore the extent of parent’s influence and the support given to their child in their sporting career, and in what forms the parents provide this support. The research adopted in this dissertation includes focus groups being carried out with six female international hockey players. There were several key findings from this research and a variety of themes emerged from the study, such as positive support, negative support and a lack of support being provided to these elite athletes. One participant in particular expressed they experienced having a ‘pushy parent’. Ferrero (2006) states an athlete matures through the realisation that drive and enthusiasm are fuelled by success and there is a shift from parental decision making to the athletes own. The main conclusion drawn from this study is that there is not a specific support system that provides better support for their child to become successful, each circumstance is different. This dissertation recommends that a parent must be sensitive to the types of support their children require to become a successful hockey player and understand that children thrive off different influences and support.
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