« | Main | Happy Birthday, Rileyman »



I definitely feel you and while I don't have any answers, I have had this conversation over and over and over again with other parents in the 10 years my kids have been participating in sports.

What I have learned is that that desire to practice hard to get better isn't something you can talk them in to. They've got to want it for themselves. And my kids, for the most part, really didn't. (Maybe because it's easier to be good at EA Sports for xBox than real ones?)

For us, it seems like high school sports have been a good motivator to work harder; and being able to step away from acting as the motivators and letting the coach do it has helped all of us a lot. Plus the camaraderie in high school sports seems different than we've seen up to this point, so I suspect that (and the peer pressure that comes along with it) helps a little.

Getting cut from a team freshman year didn't hurt, either, frankly. Today's kids just expect to be on the team--because they always are (and they're probably getting a trophy for it, too), so the first understanding that it's not a given can rock their world. It was hard to watch, but it changed my oldest's perspective in a hurry. We obviously couldn't resist pointing out the connection between lack of commitment and practice and not making the team, either. But, hey, parents have to get in their 'I told you so's' with teenagers when we can, because we are just.so.stupid.

What worked for us, and eased some of our frustration was stepping completely away (quite literally, freshman year I flat out stopped going to wrestling matches all together) and knowing that we'd given them all the information and knowledge we could give them. The talks, the rules, the sportsmanship, the understanding that to get better you have to work hard. The rest of it is up to them, I think. The passion has to come from them.

My oldest was 2nd in the district and 6th in the state his freshman year. He figured it out, but not, it seems, until we stopped telling him how to do it.

The comments to this entry are closed.