Thank you for the significant financial and time commitment you are making to give your son/daughter every opportunity to advance their football dream- you’re worthy of a gold medal.

My experience has been that the older your child becomes the more they appreciate your commitment to them through their formative years. Try to refrain from telling your child of the sacrifices you are making to enable them to play football. It is more likely that the long term outcome you are seeking for your child will be achieved if you show them your commitment through your action…. It’s not what you say but what you do over time.

Like you I want my children to realise their full potential in life. To realise their athletic talent and to have what I call ‘quality people value-adding skills’.. to be regarded as an honest, reliable, caring and resilient adult who enthusiastically embraces life.

The understanding you have of your child, your approach to parenting and the relationship you have and maintain with your child’s coach will in all likelihood shape the footballing outcome for your child.

It is that you know and accept the key role you play as a member of your son’s/daughter’s football support team.

 Your role is to effectively parent your son/daughter on their footballing journey.

Parenting a Gen Z footballer in today’s fast changing complex world presents with a formidable challenge. The only certainty for you and your son/daughter is to experience change.

Being a parent is one of the very few vocations in life that doesn’t require formal education, training, apprenticeship, or a professional licence to practice. There is no prescribed ‘how to’ manual with answers for every parenting challenge you will face. But because there is no such thing as a parent licence there is also no such thing as a perfect parent. Just like your teenager you are a real person with strengths and limitations.

Parenting a teenager in today’s ever changing complex world provides a formidable challenge requiring energy and sustained effort over an extended period of time. You need to maintain purpose, confidence and patience to face the challenges that lie ahead of you. You should think of parenting your teenager as a journey of self -discovery for yourself and for your teenager. Ideally before starting the journey you need to take time to really get to know yourself -‘the real you, warts and all’- and accept yourself as  the unique person you are, and commit yourself fully to parenting your teenager.

During the journey your teenager also needs to get to know themselves as the unique person they are and commit themselves to be the very best they can be in their life. This means developing self- understanding, self- acceptance and self-commitment. But this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, persistence and patience. What is important is that you are both willing to take the journey.

Key Take away message:

  • There is no such thing as a perfect parent. It is about  your  intention and action over your son’s/daughter’s footballing jouirney.
  •  You need to know yourself and commit yourself to effectively parent your son/daughter and to work in partnership you’re your son’s/daughter’s coach to achieve the best possible football outcome for your son/daughter.
  • your goal is to journey with your son/daughter on their football journey helping them gain self- knowledge, self- acceptance and commitment to be the best version of themselves and to achieve the best possible outcome in football and their broader life now and in the future.

My next blog will discuss what I call the Parenting Essentials. My experience is that adopting the 6 Parenting Essentials will ensure effective parenting of your footballer.

The GCU FC club community wellness program aims to give you the skills and confidence to help your son/daughter realise their Football potential and become a confident resilient and considerate adult committed to being the best they can be on their journey through life.

Don’t hesitate to contact me via email wellness@goldcoastunitedfc.com.au or 0438184994 for a chat or to arrange to meet at the club wellness centre.

Best wishes


Dr. Jeff Kemp OAM