Nikolay Ribarski is a manager at the Bulgarian Football Union.
ABOUT RESILIENCE AND DROP OUT
What do you think about the following factors able to influence the level of resilience of the children in sport?
Factors influencing the level of resilience are diverse and complex. Usually there is more than just one main factor but a person specific combination. However the factors listed here are the most common and should be the focus of dropout prevention.
For a young person still forming his/hers personality, family, school and self-esteem factors can have a serious impact.
I think that it happens all times that the sport gives the possibility to get involved, to adopt tactics, to face with a team mate or with opponent and to play under emotional pressure either positive or negative.
The educative frame of sport is a crucial factor to maintain the motivation and participation of young people in sport practice, but many external factors can guide the attitude of resilience of young people
Which is your experience concerning school connection? Why the links among sport and schools are so poor?
In Bulgaria, most schools don`t have the necessary infrastructure and experts to provide good sport education. Neither they have the resources in terms of financial and time. Therefore, the focus of the school authorities is the academic education and the sport is neglected. Another factor is the lack of sport experts as part of the school staff who would understand better the importans of sports for the young people.
ABOUT PARENTS INVOLVEMENT IN SPORT
Are you somehow working on family ties and the role of the family to fight against dropout?
As a football federation, the BFU does not have direct connection with parents. We are trying to give more information to the public in general and to encourage parents to have their kids participating in sports as players or at least as spectators.
In your daily experience which is the different role of mother and father in supporting the youngsters in the sport activity?
It is hard to generalize the role of the parents. Support is not matter of gender of the parent. It is more influenced by the parent`s experience with sports, his or hers connection with the child and of course the lifestyle of the parent.
How do you concretely try to involve parents in communicating the positive values of sport and the importance of life-long sport activity?
The best way to involve parents in communicating the positive values of sport and the importance of live-long sport activity is to attract themselves into playing. A parent practicing regularly sports would be great example for a young person. BFU strategy for increasing participation in sports is not focused just on the youngsters but towards everyone, our goal is to promote our sport and to attract as many as possible people in participating.
ABOUT COACH-ATHLETE RELATIONSHIP
In your opinion which factors in the Coach-Athlete Relationship are more potentially able to guide children’s resilience against the dropout?
Understanding the young athletes‘ way of thinking, lifestyle, problems and priorities is crucial. For a child knowing that can share with the coach and can expect understanding and tolerance will decrease the pressure and improve the communication in order to find a solution or compromise that will allow the child to continue the participation on sports.
In your daily experience how are you stressing the main values that characterize this relationship: affection, commitment, sense of responsibility, sympathy, sense of duty?
Every athlete and every coach are different personalities and that`s way the main value for every team can vary. The most important is the synchronization between the coach and the athletes, to have the same attitude and same goals. Every team creates its own specific internal culture that can be based on many different values and it is impossible to identify the best one as they can all lead to same result or event different but equally important.