Richard Shorter the 'Non Perfect Parent' is back for a fourth year across a number of sporting organisations in Wales who work with their parents to best support their children during their pathway journey and the growth of their sporting potential.
Cricket Wales, Welsh Athletics and Hockey Wales – three of the founding sports behind the series three years ago – continue to be involved whilst Badminton Wales have confirmed their involvement for their second year. Welsh Rowing and Disability Sport Wales replace the outgoing Welsh Gymnastics meaning the 2022/23 series is set to be the biggest one yet in terms of collaborative NGB presence.
Richard has over 20 years of working with parents from his days as a youth worker, and during his current life as a Baptist minister. He has delivered numerous parenting courses for local authorities and statutory agencies, as well as lecturing at universities including the teaching of trainee social work students about effective strategies for working with families.
Richard has also has significant experience within the sports sector having worked with the likes of Manchester United, England Rugby, the England & Wales Cricket Board, England Hockey, Saracens, Millfield School, Newcastle Falcons and Somerset Cricket. A public speaker in his own right, he has featured on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss the joys and challenges of sporting parents at the highest level.
On confirming the series for the next year Richard commented, "it's lovely to be asked back again for another year where we really have developed a strong rapport with parents from the various sporting bodies. We're all on the same team when it comes to wanting better outcomes for our children be it as a parent, a coach or as a performance pathway – if, through sharing good practice and diving that little bit deeper into how we can have value at home as parents contributes to that then that's what we're here for."
Cricket Wales Head of Talent Pathway Matt Dando-Thompson expressed his delight at Shorter re-confirming for another series. He said, "Rich has added significant value to our programme since coming on board three years ago. He continues to give our parents the opportunity to reflect, challenge and often confirm what they do so that they can continue to be integral pillars to their child's development through the pathway journey."
The workshops this year will continue to run via virtual means and will occur on the following dates:
Session 1 (10th November 2022): Sports parenting – how do sports parents connect effectively with the layered identities of through a young person's journey?
Session 2 (8th December 2022: Parent coach relationship – exploring the challenges and opportunities around this, including how to positively engage with match/event officials.
Session 3 (12th January 2023): Distraction management – when inner and external voices are going to discuss your children from exploring their potential and how to manage them (Incl. social media).
Session 4 (16th February 2023): Bumps in the Road - exploring selection and injury challenges as well as how to build resilience.
Session 5 (9th March 2023): Study balance – how to support your child thrive during exam periods. What can this look like?
Session 6 (11th May 2023: Keeping motivated – how to explore what motivates our children to stay in sport and how to support them.
All sessions begin at 8pm, last one hour and are available for Mum's and Dad's. The session link for each session will be shared by each of the participating sports privately in the coming weeks.
Coaches will also be able to benefit from 4 'TED Talk' style videos which will be available via their respective sports from November onwards. These will be based around the following themes:
- Coaching homes to nurture potential
- Case studies of good and bad parent engagement practice
- Listening for a change-how to have those tricky conversations which sport parents
- Managing everyone's expectations- Parents, athletes and coaches.
Parent Testimonials from the previous three series in Wales:
- Parent 1: "The conversations before and after the game or training in the car!! I've found these to be a big change from what they used to be – they are now fun or a joy!"
- Parent 2: "The sessions have re-emphasised the importance of resilience, mental health, positive attitudes, support and the need to reflect on how safe a space we create as parents for our kids to make mistakes."
- Parent 3: "It's definitely helped me to motivate my child when they are down as well as supporting them mentally and physically."
- Parent 4: "As a result of the sessions I feel I ask more questions than what I used to, to try and give him responsibility to figure things out himself rather than just telling him."