Sharing the Journey: Sons in Sports (Dr Nick Aplin)
Dr Nick Aplin, Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Sport Science (PESS) at the National Institute of Education (NIE), speaking at the 2019 Youth Coaching Conference.
“Do not impose too much on what they are going to do. Understand where their strengths and weaknesses are,” said Dr Nick Aplin.
Dr Aplin was speaking to sports parents on the second day of the 2019 Youth Coaching Conference held at Lifelong Learning Institute on 26 Jan.
He was sharing his experience as a father of three sons who have represented Singapore at junior and senior levels in football, softball, and chess. His eldest son, Anders, plays football professionally for Geylang International and recently returned from a loan stint with J2 League club Matsumoto Yamaga FC in 2018.
Dr Aplin, a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Sport Science (PESS) at the National Institute of Education (NIE), said that he and his wife allowed their sons to choose the sports they wanted to play and supported them from the sidelines. He acknowledged the significant academic pressure in Singapore but said that he was prepared for less than perfect results. He shared that he supported Anders to continue playing football even though he had to repeat his A-Levels. .
He shared some tips using the “JOURNEY” acronym:
- Just start with plenty of play early on. Don’t wait for school to start fundamental movements.
- Opportunities for your children to experiment with different activities and sports.
- Understand the desires and wishes of children. Do not impose too much on what they are going to do. Understand where their strengths and weaknesses are.
- Resource availability: Keep in mind what resources you have available to yourself, which can include time and money.
- Never impose. It is better to suggest consideration of alternatives instead.
- Educational background can be an advantage. Find the right balance to manage your expectations: how important is it for your children to do very well academically?
- Your family support is crucial and can come in different forms through encouragement or even quiet involvement.