Helping son cope with new unoform policy

Michele - posted on 08/21/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Help me. :)

My son runs on a cross country team and is the number one runner. This year they got new uniforms and the coach won't let the kids wear the undershirts or compression shorts under the uniforms. He said if they don't abide by the rules they are off the team. My son is all of 60 pounds and has the smallest uniform and it is huge on him. In addition, his undershirt in his mind is his "lucky" shirt. I know this sounds silly, but he is having panic attacks about this- wont sleep, won't eat, and wants to quit the team. We have talked to the coach and he won't change his stance, even though it is okay based on IESA rules.

My question is - what would you do- make your child deal? Let him quit the team? Is there a way to help him cope with new uniform policy?

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Terri - posted on 09/03/2012

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Michele: You have all the leverage in the world with XC. You have the number one runner. I would set up a time to meet with the coach-I would tell him bluntly that your son will only continue to run if he is allowed to wear appropriate undergarments.



I would tell him that you will spearhead making sure the whole team has the same ones (this is usually the problem) in whatever color he chooses, but that your child is not going to be flashing his body parts while running. XC shorts are super short and sometimes split. I watched both middle schoolers and high schoolers run without compression shorts this weekend. It was not a palatable sight for me as an adult.



You may have to bend on the undershirt issue to get the compression shorts. That's where your child may get his teachable moment. I would tell him that he can keep it in his bag as a good luck charm, but that no one else is wearing one. He's going to eventually outgrow the shirt anyway. If it gets outgrown, torn or lost, he is going to have the same panic. I don't let my XC runners get attached to "lucky" anything for that reason.



Good luck! I wouldn't let my boys run without the shorts either.

David Conrod - posted on 08/29/2012

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Have you gotten a reasonable answer as to "why" they can't wear the items? Have you tried to go over his head? Sounds to me like this coach has a power trip problem. Every serious runner in the world wears compression gear. Shorts, socks etc, why? because they improve performance. Perhaps your know it all coach doesn't really know it all and wants to assert his uneducated know how.



The flip side of this would be to simply explain to him that everyone wears a uniform. I have to deal with this from time to time with my new Karate students. Though in this case it's a little bogus. Firemen, police, military all have respective uniforms. There at times and places for certain clothing. When you go to a wedding or church or a special function you dress up. That's a kind of uniform. Most jobs require special or unique clothing. Waitresses, plumbers, construction workers, all have their own type of uniforms. Helping him understand that this may just be one of those times, like so may of life's other activities, you just have to comply like it or not.



Also (though this may be taking it too far) this may be a great opportunity to learn leadership and responsibility by having him strike up a good cause, get a petition and show him how he can effect positive change while fighting what he may see as wrong. If the IESA rules say its OK then what gives this coach the authority to over rule that! He's overstepping his authority, it's wrong, let's change that!

Vicki - posted on 08/21/2012

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Hi Michele,
I think you answered your own question in a way.....Your question was " Helping son cope with new uniform policy" I think deep down you already know that you need to help him cope. It does suck but at the same time so do alot of other things in life, we must find ways of dealing with them, especially if we still want to enjoy the stuff we are currently enjoying. Your son im sure enjoys being part of the team maybe help remind him of that? Not being able to wear a undershirt underneath is not that big of a deal. I'm sure if you talk things out with your son he may come around, if not and he still wants to quit let him, but i would make a point to tell him that he is part of a team and his decission doesnt only affect him! I also question his threat of quitting due to not being able to wear a undershirt? How bad does he want this?
Best of luck!

Vicki

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