“Brilliant parenting is one of the ‘rocks’ of a successful development environment,” said Millfield School’s director of sport as he addressed parents of Manchester United’s rising stars conference

Millfield’s director of sport, Dr Scott Drawer, spoke to parents at the Manchester United Football Club Academy Conference at Old Trafford on Sunday about the role parenting plays in a child’s success. 

Dr Drawer shared experiences and stories from his high level, diverse sporting background in Olympic and Paralympic sport with UK Sport, England Rugby and Team Ineos (previously Team Sky), and his role in developing sport at Millfield. 

He spoke about the importance of parents in a player’s support team saying: “Brilliant parenting is one of the ‘rocks’ of any development environment. We cannot underestimate the role that parents play in developing the right behaviours and skills in young people, to aid personal success through sport or whatever career they choose to follow in life. 

“At Millfield, where 75% of our students are boarders and therefore away from their parents for long periods of time, our teachers, coaches and pastoral team play a significant role in this too.” 

The event was put together by MUFC for its academy parents and included guest speakers from Changing Minds – Dr Andy Rogers, non Perfect Dad – Richard Shorter, On Side Law, Premier League, current academy coaches at MUFC, and parents of players who have become professionals in the game. 

Dr Drawer also shared insights into alternative development pathways, how students can succeed academically alongside sport, and how Millfield provides a flexible education model. 

“Taking part provided an excellent opportunity for myself and Millfield to learn from one of the most successful development environments in professional sport, to understand their emerging approach to developing and discovering brilliance in young people,” he said. 

“The focus from MUFC on the person first, and the player second – is exactly the foundation for performing well in anything you do, and is something I strongly believe in. The emphasis on providing new and dynamic experiences as part of a young person’s time in the academy is another similarity to the opportunities at Millfield, where we provide a multi sport, arts, drama, music and academic environment. 

“We passionately believe in developing young people through sport at Millfield. Of course, we recognise that the landscape of sport has changed dramatically in the past 20 years and we need to adapt to such trends and influence, but the guiding principles which underpin everything MUFC do and the intent that comes with it are remarkably similar to our own.”