We recently had a great couple of days at the Aston Villa training ground in Bodymoor Heath.
We ran introductory sessions for all of the age groups of parents from U8 – U16 covering a multitude of different topics from managing dreams and expectations, supporting the development of life and character skills, avoiding comparisons, normalising the ups and downs of the sporting journey and controlling the controllables to name but a few.
All of the sessions were really well attended and parents helped to bring the sessions to life by being so open and honest in sharing their thoughts and views on the complexities of being a sporting parent, often with plenty of humour.
Player Care Manager at Aston Villa Helen Roberts said, ‘The Academy invited Gordon and WWPIS to deliver to our 9’s to 16’s parents, as part of our parent programme. The session was very relatable with great insight into how to try and navigate the demands, challenges and positives of being a sporting parent. Gordon delivered a very engaging session with real life stories and humour!’
CEO Gordon MacLelland said, ‘We loved our first visit to Aston Villa. It is something we have been working towards for some time with the club and are excited about the plans for next season in implementing a cohesive and sustainable programme across the academy. A number of football clubs who are working alongside us are beginning to see the real value in engaging positively and working with parents to help support their child’s development both on and off the field. We have been running sessions throughout the season for academy management, coaches and parents with the success of this work being dependant on everyone playing their part and not working in silos.’
The experiences of working across so many different academy environments is helping us as an organisation to deliver high quality context specific workshops for parents, coaches and management staff.
We are looking forward to continuing our work next season with a number of Premier League clubs including Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United with some new partnership announcements coming very soon.
Outside of the Premier League, this season has seen us deliver face to face and virtual sessions for over 25 clubs across the EFL thanks to a successful first season working alongside League Football Education with early indications suggesting that this number will rise in 2023/2024.