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There's no guidebook, says Guscott
Jeremy Guscott with two of his three daughters
Jerry takes time out with his daughters with the Lions in 1999

Former England rugby star turned BBC pundit Jeremy Guscott believes parenting is all about learning on the job.

There's no guidebook to being a parent, it's something you learn as you go along. Even my parents are still learning, as am I with my three daughters.

I don't want to over push my children for sporting success. I'm more interested in their academic studies.

The first thing to do is find out whether your child enjoys playing sport or not. Schools help parents so much these days.

It's worth having a chat with your child's teacher because they often notice a pupil who has a natural ability or enjoys playing sport. Also, listen to your children.

Jerry Guscott factfile
Date of birth: 7 July, 1965
Place of birth: Bath
Teams: Bath, England, British and Irish Lions
England caps: 65
England tries: 30
England points: 143
Children: Imogen, 11, Holly, 9 and Saskia, 6

They often get involved in sport because their friends are playing a new game and they want to try it too.

I was just like any other kid growing up, doing the usual things like kicking a ball around at play time with all my friends at primary school.

My parents weren't really into rugby, but they started to go and see Bath play because of my uncle, who is a big fan.

I started playing mini rugby every Sunday morning from the age of seven. But I wasn't really seriously into the game at that age.

It wasn't until I started senior school when I really got into my sport. I played football and rugby in the winter and athletics and cricket during the summer.

My parents' role didn't really change once I started to show my rugby potential.

My dad wasn't living his sporting dream through me - he was there to support me from the touch line.

They just gave me all the support I needed, along with all the kit.

Rugby is a very cheap game to play, the most expensive part of the kit are the boots.

Obviously the more money you pay the better quality the equipment is. But I never got the impression that my equipment made a huge impact on their budget.


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My kids could do more. They're more into 'Angelina Ballerina' than the rudiments of 4-4-2 formation. But there's time. I'm careful not to force the issue.
- Martin Schiller, father of two

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