No research was previously performed on wrestling related to parental support. It is not known whether there are differences in support between younger and older children. The popularity of a sport can be reflected in parental support, and parents may be more inclined towards popular sports. The aim of this research was to examine differences in parental support among wrestlers of different age categories and between those coming from communities in which wrestling is a popular sport versus communities in which it is less popular. The sample of participants consisted of 172 wrestlers. The Parental Support Scale for Children in Sports was applied. Parental willingness to set an example was lower. As far as age is concerned, the period of entry into specialisation is sensitive. At this age, children perceive less parental support (p = 0.04) and lower parental belief in the benefits of sports (p = 0.01). The popularity of the sport is related to parental support. In environments in which wrestling is popular, parents know the sport better and can participate; therefore, children perceive more parental support. The findings of this study may help coaches to better understand athlete-parent relationships.
Keywords: age categories; combat sport; parental involvement.