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Ask the Expert: Should I Persuade My Kid to Stop Playing Sports if His Team Keeps Losing?

Though your child's sports team may require long hours and commitment, is persuading him or her to quit because the team does not win a lot of games the right move? A father of two and the CEO of House of Sports in Westchester, New York weighs in on whether it's appropriate to pull a child out of a team sport simply because they are not winning.

My son's soccer team rarely wins a game and the time commitment is very demanding. Should I persuade him to stop playing? Why or why not?

No, absolutely not. In our programs at   House of Sports, we like to win. We certainly have teams that do not win any game. What we always say to those kids is we don't want blowouts, but who cares about the win-loss record 10-year-old has?

Boy Kicking a Soccer BallInstead, what we look at is did my son improve? If my son improved and had a good experience and got better at the sport, the win-loss record does not matter.

The head of my basketball program, he won two national championships at Duke. He always says to parents: ‘I have two trophies that I keep. I do not know where my 11-year-old trophy or my medals are.’

It’s a very simple equation. If you work harder, you will win more. You hear this all the time. They weren't born that way. Why does my son's basketball team win? My son plays seven days a week for 2-3 hours a day. If you’re putting in 15 hours a week, 20 hours a week, you will get better and your team will win games because they work much harder than the other kids. But make sure they’re still having fun. Ask ‘are the kids improving and getting better at the sport they love?’ Losing should have no impact on that at all. It’s all about improvements.

Donald Scherer is the CEO of   House of Sports, the largest indoor sports complex in Westchester County, New York, with 45 basketball teams, 26 lacrosse teams, and 10 baseball teams.

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