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I'm not asking from a safeguarding stance but would love to hear opinions on whether it's better for the players (aged 15 and 16) to share rooms with their team mates (in 2s or 3s) for bonding / building / sharing purposes when the team is away at a two-day competition; OR share a room with a parent or parents in order to get a better night's sleep (advocated by someone who favours this latter approach)?
What if a couple of the parents have not booked into the same hotel as the majority of the others ... does that make a difference?
What if parents of one of the young players are not able to travel on this occasion?
What do you think? What approach have you taken when there are differing opinions within the group (parents / players / coaches)?
Hi, I think this is a great question.
I certainly sit on the side of young athletes sharing a room with other young athletes. Within pathway programmes, I am sure that one desired outcome from the programme is that these young athletes reach the level of competition on the national and international levels. This brings with it a whole host of “logistical” baggage that if not trained throughout the training years, could come to a shock to the system and an adverse effect on the performance of an individual / team. Sharing a room with other people may well be something that some people have never done, teaching patience, persistence and creating coping skills to “live” with someone who you don’t know particularly well is a vital area of training.
Whilst in a training programme, we could control who shares with whom, and indeed parents can help to make training as comfortable as possible, but when national teams are chosen to represent abroad and tight budgets are in place, there may certainly be a need to share. By changing room mates at different training events and keeping the team together (with rules in place) can add a new level of training. I think training these kind of coping skills is a free opportunity that we can make best use of for long-term performance gains.
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