Paddy Upton – ‘Winning with Kids’ | Maritzburg College

Paddy Upton – ‘Winning with Kids’

Paddy Upton – ‘Winning with Kids’

Maritzburg College was very fortunate this week to host top international cricket coach, mind coach, and author, Paddy Upton to address our parents, staff and boys, and to conduct a workshop with our coaches.

Paddy’s address to parents, “Winning With Kids”, served to support coaches, parents and their teachers in providing healthy and sustainable sport participation for our boys – setting them up for a lifetime of success, both on and off the field.

Parents and teachers have differing views on participation, coaching and on winning. Some of these support while others undermine both participation and performance, as well as the character traits, values and the life-lessons that sport teaches. The current reality is that children’s sport participation is being undermined more than ever before, both in South Africa and abroad.

International research suggests that 36% of parents hurt their son’s development for the following reasons:

  1. Over-emphasis on winning
  2. Unrealistic expectations
  3. Coaching their son
  4. Criticizing their son 
  5. Pampering their son

The following mental obstacles to enjoyment and success in sport are:

  1. Pressure [from a number of areas]
  2. Fear of failure because of pressure on the outcome /result 

What can you as parents do for your sons?

  1. Ask them what they want from the sport [i.e. their agenda not yours]
  2. Ask them what do they want from you on game day and deliver on that?
  3. Manage your expectations of perfection:

3.1 Expect and don’t react to errors – they will happen

3.2 It is unlikely that your son will be the next superhuman

  • Manage your attachment to winning AND losing

4.1 Win OR lose behave the same

4.2 Be social media savvy

    1. Let the coaches coach, the selectors select and the officials officiate
    2. Do not criticize your son, coach, officials and other boys
    3. Tell him that you love watching him play
    4. The drive home after the game is NOT the time for a coaching workshop  
    5. Highlight, celebrate and reward success in considering preparation and effort
    6. Don’t be the absent or the helicopter parent



Finally : your sons require acknowledgement, recognition, affirmation, support and love no matter what activity they are involved and no matter how successful or not they are. They ultimately want to know:

“Am I good enough?’

It cannot be contingent on results. 

Please do not reprimand them and worse than that do not ignore them. They want you to be their parent