Son wants to quit his sport

J - posted on 05/01/2010 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My son has been playing hockey for six years, but he has recently decided he wants to quit. I'm not certain of the reasons, but I suspect he feels the sport cuts into his social life too much (practice 2-3 days a week and one game). I also believe he has been playing at a competitive level that is a little too high for him, and this has made him feel bad because he didn't get the playing time others did. (However, the shortage of play time has been his fault, too, because he hasn't tried as hard as he can.)



Anyway, I think he's making a big mistake by giving up the sport. He says he wants to try something new, but I am worried what is really going on is his desire to 'chill' with his friends. I also worry he wants to quit because the sport has gotten hard and requires lots of effort, and he doesn't want to put in the effort. I guess I feel like he's quitting for the wrong reasons.



Is there anyone out there with a child who quit a sport but then went back to it? Or changed their mind about quitting? I am hoping to positively inspire him to either go back to the sport or take up another, not just quit and do nothing but hang out with his friends.



Thanks!

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Aramanth - posted on 05/01/2010

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We're dealing with this at the moment, kind of. My daughters started doing karate at ages 6 and 7. They loved it at first, but once it started getting hard my younger daughter quit. She has never regretted that decision even though I made the alternative boring (she still had to come to lessons, not stay home and sit quietly on the sidelines with the other parents, no playing with the other kids during breaks).

My older daughter still does karate (she is 15 now) but finds that the time commitment is very hard to cope with. Her Sensei wants her to train two or three times a week at her grade, plus enter tournaments several weekends per year. She is in Year 11 (second-last year of High School in Australia) and quite simply finds it hard to commit to even one lesson per week this year given her home-work load. Next year is going to be even crazier with school work as Year 12 is the hardest year of their school lives with essential state-wide exams to pass and an estimated 3 - 4 hours of homework per night.

Maybe try talking to your son and find out his reasons for quitting. It might just be that after 6 years he NEEDS a break. It might be (as with my daughter) that academic concerns are catching up with him and he doesn't feel he can commit fully to both sport AND school right now. It might even be that he wants to start working part-time and can't see a way around fitting in a job, school and sport. But you may never know what his concerns are until you ask!

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