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Thank you for My Success: Athletics WA Parent & Athlete workshop
7 February 2015
Athletics WA Foundation Elective workshop, 7th February 2015, DSR.

story by Olivia Vivian
WAIS Gymnast: 2008 Olympics, 2014 Commonwealth Games, multiple World Championships
Today was the first time I got to work with some of the athletes' parents, and I loved it!

As important as it is to educate the talented up and comers, the majority of them live with their parents and rely on them in one way or another. So helping Amanda (the Lead Facilitator) educate these support lifelines, was incredibly eye opening and enjoyable for me.

Its funny when you ask a parent what they do for their child, the answers you get are often a little bit different to when you ask the kids. Parents will say;

  • Drive
  • Feed
  • Pay Bills
  • Clean, Wash, Tidy Up
  • Listen
  • Fight on their behalf
  • Teach
  • Homework help
  • Cook
  • Drive to appointments
  • Watch training and competitions
  • Cheer
  • Cloth
  • and a whole other range of answers.

But if you ask the athlete what their parents do for them (before a workshop) they will often say;

  • Nag
  • Feed
  • Drive

This is of course before they are educated on how important their support systems are and how much they are going to need them.

After helping the parents understand what goes through their athletes mind, and how they are often too young or focused to truly understand what they do for them, I then got to move on and join the athletes in their workshop.


Of course after talking with the support crew for an hour, I got to give the athletes a couple of quick tips on how they need to communicate better with their support staff and how far a quick ‘THANK-YOU’ will go.

Communication is so important in all relationships, and although it might taste a bit weird coming out, a sincere thank-you and words of appreciation go a long way, especially to your parents and coaches who put numerous hours into furthering your dreams and goals.

We don't always feel like having lengthy face-to-face conversations. That's OK. But we all need to find a way to communicate with our support systems to share the information that they need to help us - both practical/logistical and emotional.
You're all doing such a great job so far, and as there are always things that you can improve on the track or in the field - the things discussed in the workshop will also help you to become better athletes and be in control of your own success.
Olivia Vivian
  @oliviavivian facebook.com/OliviaVivian.Athlete

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