Ask the Expert: How Should a Parent Respond When a Child wants to Quit his Sports Team?
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If a child isn’t open to discussing why she want to quit the team, it’s especially important to watch the child and how she interacts with her teammates and coach. I recommend not pushing kids in this situation, and not demanding that they tell us why they don’t want to play a sport. This often makes kids feel as if they’re backed into a corner and have little choice in the matter of whether they can drop the sport or not.
If you both decide your child should quit the team, make sure he has another activity to join so he doesn’t dwell on the decision to stop playing the sport. Joining another team or pursuing another endeavor is a great way for kids to learn first-hand that sometimes things simply aren’t good fits, rather than any fault or shortcoming on the child’s behalf. Giving children options helps broaden horizons and reminds kids of their potential and possibility. It also reminds the child that the parents believe in them.
Coaches and peers are emotional and passionate about their teams, but they will understand if kids feel too uncomfortable to continue playing a sport. It helps best if both kids and parents are open and honest with coaches and their teammates with their reasoning as to why they cannot or do not want to play anymore.
About The Expert:
Shadrach Gonzalez Fher (a.k.a. Coach Fher), founder of Soccer by Coach Fher, through which he oversees a staff of dedicated coaches who offer soccer instruction at schools, churches, and synagogues in New York City. A native of Argentina, Coach Fher has played both collegiate and professional soccer, and is certified in cardio athletic education and as a coach by the Eastern New York Soccer Association Coaching Academy.