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Skack25

Letting Kids Quit Sports

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If he says he doesn't want to continue, convince him to give it one more try.

Then, if he doesn't want to keep going, pull the plug.

My sons are almost 9 and 6. The near-9 year old wants to play football, and the answer's been a firm "no" for a while for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, it is a time commitment. 'Round these parts, even at that age, kids have to commit to 5 days a week of practice. Not happening. The safety concern is there too, but it is relatively minor. He's asked about flag football, and that is a "maybe." When he gets older, maybe I'll let him learn to kick or punt or something, but football as we know it is eventually going to change because of safety concerns.

He's played soccer, basketball, and baseball lots of times before. I even coached his basketball team one year. In that experience, I've seen the worst sportsmanship in other parents, both coaches and just in support. I can only imagine (and have somewhat witnessed) that the football environment is worse.

On the contrary, some friends of ours have a son the same age. He's done every sport, including football and travel baseball already (the kid is a natural athlete.) This kid lives and breathes everything sports. My kids aren't like that, and I try to steer them more towards things they are interested in.

We tried soccer with our 6 year old once in the 4-5 range. There was no interest, but he stuck it out and finished the season. He hasn't played an organized sport since.

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All solid advice.  I'd tag the replies individually, but there are several and I actually forgot about this thread after the second practice.  The flipped switched the second night and now he loves it.  Had he gone a week or so longer and still hated it, I would have pulled the plug.  Thanks all.

  • Pie 3

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Make him finish the season, learn some lessons...practice sucks because well....practice.  He may fall in love with it after he gets to understand it, he may not.  It's a lot like life. Give it a chance but never quit once you have made a commitment.  That's character.  If he feels he doesn't want to do it anymore after the season then that's fine.

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2 hours ago, Skack25 said:

All solid advice.  I'd tag the replies individually, but there are several and I actually forgot about this thread after the second practice.  The flipped switched the second night and now he loves it.  Had he gone a week or so longer and still hated it, I would have pulled the plug.  Thanks all.

 

46 minutes ago, Jimmy said:

Make him finish the season, learn some lessons...practice sucks because well....practice.  He may fall in love with it after he gets to understand it, he may not.  It's a lot like life. Give it a chance but never quit once you have made a commitment.  That's character.  If he feels he doesn't want to do it anymore after the season then that's fine.

 

IMO skack had the right approach - push the idea of commitment but do not push it beyond pure hate of the experience.  My kid after trying (and committing for full seasons to things he did not outright hate like Lacrosse) of a ton of different team sports really came to reject the idea of team sports in general - healthy exercise is still important so he does swimming, rock climbing, and running all things he loves. 

Teamwork is also an important skill, winning as a team (and losing) are important.  Sports is not the only place for that - my son does robotic competitions and academic ones. 

 

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I’m not a father but my nephew isn’t allowed to play contact football until high school. He plays flag and loves it. 

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My 5 year old loves wrestling with me at home so we signed him up for jujitsu. He HATED IT. This session lasted the school year.  He would cry every time my wife brought him there. Over time however, when I picked him up and asked him how it was he would say he had fun. 

He finished out the year and said he had fun but it was always a fight to bring him there. I think there were a few reasons for his mixed reactions. 

1. It was a small class size and they matched you up based on size. My 5 year old is tall for his age and would then get matched up with older and bigger kids and get pummeled.

2.  He would get picked up from my mom's (grandma's house) and was always having fun when he had to leave which I'm sure he was disappointed about. 

3. Its not a team sport, its all individual (and he loves soccer) which is an adjustment. 

 

I learned some good lessons here.. 

- It was good that we made him finish the year. It taught him when he starts something he needs to finish it.

- Some sports might need the kids to be older to enjoy them. I think if I would have started him a year later he would have enjoyed it more.

 

Meh - live and learn. I want to put my daughter in it for some basic wrestling skills but will probably wait till she it 8ish..  

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I tried several different activities/sports as I grew up (soccer, HS track/X-C, band & boy scouts turned out to be my main hobbies). Anytime I tried something & didn't like it, parents allowed to quit ONLY after participating for a certain period and/or I made certain achievements (i.e. try baseball for one season, achieve your 1st class rank in BSA & decide from there, etc).

Something I always remind myself: "Winners never quit, quitters never win".

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My son is in his 3rd season of soccer.  He was really bad first season and had almost no improvement in his 2nd season.  We discussed pulling him out to try different sport and it almost happened but after reading this thread I decided to let him give it another shot.  His game is on completely different level this season.  He has scored 9 goals in 2 games and was benched for being too good.  I have no clue what happened but he just understood the game and took it to completely different level.  He went from no confidence and “I do not like soccer” to being the best player at his age category.  Now he comes home from school and practices by himself every day.  I realized it takes time and practice for kids to get it.

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12 hours ago, ARSEN said:

My son is in his 3rd season of soccer.  He was really bad first season and had almost no improvement in his 2nd season.  We discussed pulling him out to try different sport and it almost happened but after reading this thread I decided to let him give it another shot.  His game is on completely different level this season.  He has scored 9 goals in 2 games and was benched for being too good.  I have no clue what happened but he just understood the game and took it to completely different level.  He went from no confidence and “I do not like soccer” to being the best player at his age category.  Now he comes home from school and practices by himself every day.  I realized it takes time and practice for kids to get it.

great story!

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14 hours ago, ARSEN said:

My son is in his 3rd season of soccer.  He was really bad first season and had almost no improvement in his 2nd season.  We discussed pulling him out to try different sport and it almost happened but after reading this thread I decided to let him give it another shot.  His game is on completely different level this season.  He has scored 9 goals in 2 games and was benched for being too good.  I have no clue what happened but he just understood the game and took it to completely different level.  He went from no confidence and “I do not like soccer” to being the best player at his age category.  Now he comes home from school and practices by himself every day.  I realized it takes time and practice for kids to get it.

Good to know this thread helped someone else and not just me.

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