Support for Parents of Youth Athletes

Freeing the Parent’s Mind – The Route to Harmony at Home!

How does this conversation help parents to effectively support their child to progress and learn?

It’s an incredible feeling to watch our kids excel at something, like a sport. We want them to feel the confidence and fulfilment of reaching their own potential. Yet when they face the inevitable losses, setbacks, or performance slumps, their reactions can range from getting discouraged, withdrawn, or apathetic, to self-loathing, wanting to give up the sport, or wanting to give up on life.

For parents, it can be excruciating to watch, and they often have no idea how to support them. The key for parents is to keep their own composure lead with strength, rather than reacting with their own frustration, intensity, or the urge to be controlling.

Parents that can find their own grace and resilience when their kids struggle tend to raise kids that learn to find resilience for themselves. The result is that over time, the ups and downs of sports take less of a toll on them and allow for their spark and motivation to come back.

Why would parents want to talk about this area of parenting?

We’ve found that when parents spend less time in frustration, intensity, and upset within themselves in the face of their kids’ struggles and challenges, their kids tend to recover their own equilibrium faster. Kids feed off the parents’ energy, and as parents wake up to that fact, the entire household doesn’t spiral down every time their kid loses a big game.

The benefit for parents is that they become less negatively affected by their kids’ ups and downs, they have a calmer household, and most importantly, they’re ultimately bringing out more resilience in their kids to take with them into the rest of life.

Denise Holland, specialises in working with the youth and parents. She has over 30 years experience in supporting young people to lead high performance, happy and fulfilling lives. Before the Coronavirus, we were already living through a mental health crisis , especially with the youth, seeing identity, confidence and self image issues on the rise. Just because a person plays sport, doesnt mean they are unlikely to experience low mental states, in some cases sport magnifies mental and emotional suffering in a youth. As parents you are their first line of support, so how best can we help you to help them?

  • Help your child to handle selections and feedback with greater clarity and confidence.

  • Know what to do and what not to do to help your child when they get upset and lose motivation and energy.

  • Understand the innocent trap of comparing your child’s achievements and responses to others.

  • Realise where to look when you feel stressed about your child’s upset and challenging behaviours.

  • Support from a secure knowing that with insights, your child can access her innate mental health, well-being and resilience.

Freeing the Parent’s mind – The Route to Harmony at Home!

Book now for a complimentary 1-2-1 session with Denise

What People Say About Working With Denise

Denise has the skills and experience to wake people up to deeper knowledge about themselves. In the sporting arena, this knowledge happens to be crucially important.

Adam Ashe
Professional Rugby Player – Glasgow Warriors

Denise has been instrumental in my evolving understanding of the Three Principles and how they specifically apply in high-performance sport. Her insightful and intuitive way of working has challenged and deepened my fundamental understanding of all human performance. I’ll always be appreciative of her significant role in my development as a performance director and coach.

Richard Pybus
Founder & CEO Optimal Performance - Former Director of Cricket - West Indies Cricket Board

I used to struggle to remain calm and confident in stressful situations, what others think of me, what would happen if I did something wrong? We are all capable of achieving, no part of our abilities is lacking! This programme has truly changed me for the best and is perfect during my final year of University.

Hannah Salem
Third Year Student - The University of Kent - Sports Therapy

Denise Holland is one of my best “students.” She is one of the few students I have asked to teach with me, and I was and remain very impressed with her presence, her knowledge, her wisdom, her feeling and her responsiveness. I would say anyone who works with Denise is in excellent hands.


Jack Pransky

I reached out to Denise when my world seemed to be falling apart. I had recently received a diagnosis of two different types of cancer; my son was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and had little time to live. I did not know how to process all of this, and my mental state spiralled! Within ten minutes of quiet time with Denise, I felt everything lifting from my shoulders and a feeling of calm settling in its place. Working with Denise has given me a deeper understanding and knowledge of the mind, it keeps me on a healthy path not only in general day-to-day life but as a life skill in my work environment and sport. Forever grateful to you, Denise.


Mark Harris

I am so grateful to have worked with Denise, I used to float in and out of different moods and believed it was other things and situations causing them. Honestly, this understanding has changed my life.

Nadia McMillian
Third Year Student - The University of Kent, Sport and Exercise Science.

I enjoyed this course very much as it improved my shooting technique and accuracy dramatically. I learned that you do not have to be controlled by your negative thoughts because they are not you.

Harriet Bonner-Leney
Age 12

Meeting Denise was perfect timing, written in the stars, foretold, whatever. My world was falling apart, my marriage had ended, my child was in serious trouble, and I was upping sticks and moving up North to run the biggest, most complex project of my career.
Four months later, my project is an astonishing success, my marriage is back on track, and best of all, my baby is coming back to me. I am different at work, at home, inside my head, and others can see it. The dark days aren’t dark any more because they don’t last, and the light days are far more frequent. Denise’s workj isn’t just amazing in the world of sport but any area of life.

Vicky Norman
Implementation Manager

Denise has a tremendous understanding of how to achieve elite performance in sport. Her contagious enthusiasm is motivating and inspires you to the next level

Lesley MacDonald
Scotland National Netball Athlete (107 caps)

I was fortunate enough to have a conversation with Denise when we met in America. It would be easy to accuse me of exaggeration or sensationalising by making the following statement, but I can only offer you the truth as I see it.

Matthew Roberts
England International High Jumper who came back from breaking his neck!

Before I took part in Denise’s Health and Well Being programme, I stressed in many situations; it would prevent me from taking part in different things. I now look at the situations holistically and not let thoughts prevent me from putting myself forward.

Charlie Harris
2nd-year student – The University of Greenwich – Forensic science with Criminology Student

Denise’s new approach is great for teamwork, we don’t get upset with each other anywhere near as much, and get over disappointments quickly.

Amelia Davies
Third Year Student - The University of Kent, Sports and Excercise for Health

Denise is impressive in her abilities by any standard. Her ability to teach and develop those around her, mark her out as someone with exceptional leadership and coaching skills. I constantly seek advice and counsel from her and trust her implicitly.

Floyd Woodrow MBE
Chairman and CEO of Chrysalis Worldwide

I appreciate the support Denise gave me when I was transitioning into my new role at Leinster and helping me understand how to ‘free my mind!

Stuart Lancaster
Senior Coach Leinster Rugby – Former England Rugby Coach

I enjoyed speaking with Denise about the mind and performance. The conversations were very insightful and always had me challenging and questioning the status quo regarding mental performance. The critical pointer Denise gave was that our natural state is freedom of mind, clarity and potential. We don’t need to overexert the mind to find these states. Searching for them often leads us further into tension. I found this very relatable to direct experiences in life and sport.

Grayson Hart
Scotland International Rugby Player - London Scottish FC