A Grounded Theory of Parent Integration in German Professional Youth Soccer Academies

Valeria Eckardt*, Travis E. Dorsch

*Korrespondierende*r Autor*in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftKonferenz-Abstract in FachzeitschriftForschungBegutachtung


Children’s outcomes in youth sport are influenced by social relationships and the interactions athletes have with other individuals. To achieve a successful sport experience, clubs and coaches often strive to engage parents toward the betterment and well-being of the athletic child. How- ever, theory and practice are lacking with regard to how social agents in the youth sport system coordinate. Utilizing Dorsch and colleagues’ (2020) framework for an integrated understanding of the youth sport system, the present study was designed to identify a model of facilitators and barriers to a successful integration of parents into the professional German youth soccer academy system. Theoretical and purposive sampling were em- ployed to recruit social agents of U8 to U17 teams from 15 German youth soccer academies. In-depth, semi-structured interviews with 15 adminis- trators (6 females; Mage=42.00, SD=10.91), 12 coaches (all male; Mage = 40.82, SD = 11.92) and 9 parents (3 females, 2 dyads; Mage = 44.82, SD = 5.56) were conducted and analyzed following the principles of constructivist grounded theory methodology (Charmaz, 2006). Results suggest that the successful integration of parents into professional youth soccer academies is a process of trial-and-error for coaches, administrators, and parents themselves. In the present study, relationships between social agents were characterized by interdependence and reciprocity while club stakeholders aimed to maintain a professional distance from parents. Findings elucidate several facilitating psychological factors such as mutual trust, understanding, honest communication, and appreciation. Differences in academies, available economic resources, the sociocultural composition of families, and the nature of parental involvement were identified as potential barriers to the successful integration of parents. We recommend that clubs develop a professional management plan and evidence-based guidelines for coaches on parent integration to foster a positive youth sport environment.
ZeitschriftJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Seiten (von - bis)S8-S9
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2022
VeranstaltungNorth American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) Conference 2022 - Kona, Hawaii, USA/Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika
Dauer: 26.05.202228.05.2022