26 answers

Is It My Issue? Should I Force My Child to Try a Team Sport?

She has never tried a team sport and says she does not want to do it. My husband thinks all my dread is because I don't want to deal with this mom coach and we should force her to try it for one season. He played every sport and thinks that is where friendships are made. She is in 4th. My girl asks for more playtime and down time already so we dropped karate. I am less stressed. Still, I don't want to miss out on something. Her real friends are on the basketball team and we won't see them except maybe once a week during the season to play.

What can I do next?

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The only time you should force a child to a team sport, if it's something they asked you to do, and once you make the committment and sign them up, they don't want to.

I don't understand, she was doing karate (a great activity) and you dropped that because you needed more free time, but then signed her up for a sport. Just doesn't make any sense.

If her real friends are on the basketball team, that doesn't mean she has to be on the team. She can support her friends and have fun by attending the games and cheering them on.

6 moms found this helpful

I'd avoid drama and stress. Is there something else she can try without the drama so she can make new friends? I wouldn't want to deal with this mom either. Good luck!

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My daughter is not in any team sports, and I'm glad she wasn't interested. She is in swimming lessons and Karate, theater and piano.

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why on EARTH would it even enter your head to "force" her to do a team sport she has already said she does NOT want to do? your husband is wrong. listen to your CHILD. period. there is no question or debate here.

7 moms found this helpful

The only time you should force a child to a team sport, if it's something they asked you to do, and once you make the committment and sign them up, they don't want to.

I don't understand, she was doing karate (a great activity) and you dropped that because you needed more free time, but then signed her up for a sport. Just doesn't make any sense.

If her real friends are on the basketball team, that doesn't mean she has to be on the team. She can support her friends and have fun by attending the games and cheering them on.

6 moms found this helpful

This is the answer to your question - YOU don't want to miss out on something. This is about you.

I would NOT force my child into a sport. They won't enjoy it and not try and do their best....which will cause animosity on the field from those who are there because they WANT TO BE...

The only time I force my kids into a team sport is when they begged me or my husband to sign them up and then they say "OOOOOOHHHH!! I don't want to go to practice (or game) today!!" I tell them - "you begged to be be signed up for this - you are now part of a team and they are depending upon you to be there. So you will go and you will do your best."

If you are dreading it - then you have your own problems. If you have a mom that you don't like - or detest in your own words - you are creating a situation for yourself. Do you have proof that this coach lied to people? There are many people who have been misjudged or have changed - have you given that a thought?

In regards to FORCING your daughter in a sport? I think it's wrong.

In regards to you detesting another woman - you need to stop, talk to this woman, clear the air. Your daughter will pick YOUR behavior up and mimic - is that what you want?

You may "dread" this coach/woman, but in reality? It sounds like you want an opportunity to discredit her and make her and her daughters look bad.

DO NOT FORCE YOUR CHILD INTO A SPORT.

4 moms found this helpful

I can't think of any reason why you should force this. Your daughter has said that she does NOT want to do this. You hate the coach and other members of the team. You aren't looking forward to the practices which are a requirement of the team. This sounds like torture for both you and your daughter.

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With everything is going on it sounds like terrible idea. I would not do it.

Apart from this I bet that your town has more than ONE team to be on... so if she really WANTS to start something, find a team without pre-existing issues.

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Absolutely no reason to force this. Sounds disastrous. Listen to your gut.

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I am NOT a fan of school or out of school team sports. I have watched too many coaches favor the natural atheletes and the rest of the kids sit on the bench and watch. Our high school had around 70 kids that "dressed" for games (football). But only a maximun of 22 played. Occsionally 23 if we kicked a field goal. The players teased the non-players about not being "good enough" to play and about not being "good enough" to ever win in the game of life.

I wanted my kids to learn team work and team bonding. So I required each of my kids to either play in the band or sing in the choir for one year in high school. It worked wonderfully. Each of my kids except for one loved the band or choir. When the band played, 100% of the band members played. 100% of the band members were valued and were part of the team. Each of the band members had a job to do and was counted on by the rest of the team. In football, the coach only allowed the favored few to play. Only 33% of the "football team" actually played. Not much commarodery unless you were one of the 33%. The same can be said for the basketball team or the baseball team.

Learning team work is important, but it is best learned where everyone gets to play and be part of the team.

BTW, there are lots of very good reasons to "force" your child to do things they don't want to do. Some times its a character builder. My wife and I "forced" my kids to do the dishes, clear the table, learn to cook and prepare meals for the family, learn to shop, grow a garden, weed the garden, wash their clothes, feed the chickens, feed the dog, mow the lawn, study, do homework, etc.

Good luck to you and yours.

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Is your husband really athletic and was this something he could share with your DD? Wondering why he thinks that putting your child through all that drama was more healthy than dropping it in favor of other things, like those school projects. It also sounds like YOU were doing the running around, and not him. That means, to me, that the choice is more yours than his.

I would not force a child to do a sport. We strongly encouraged the bigger kids to do more than go to school and come home, to be involved in their schools in some way. But SD is just not into sports. It would be a waste of time and money to force her to participate, even if she plays a bit one on one at home. If you are at peace, then be at peace. It sounds like your daughter knows what she wants right now and what she can handle (sounds like the academics have her hopping). Listen to her.

My SD was in band til 8th grade. Then she dropped it and frankly it wasn't worth the expense to make her keep going if she truly wasn't interested. She did see the year out. Then she got into theatre and has been very happy. Give your child this break and see what she's into later.

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I have two who love team sports, two who don't. For the two who don't I would never even suggest they try it.
My one daughter is on the swim team, not a team sport, an individual sport that practices together. Her performance does not affect the whole team, just her own scores.
I agree with 8kids on this. My oldest two kids have been in the band and orchestra. I have two more coming into the highschool/middleschool age. ONe will go into the marching band next year, the other will join in three years, either band, orchestra or chorus.
I do request that my kids be in a sport, that can be swimming, soccer, track, cross country, volleyball, whatever. Looking ahead at college applications they want to see "well-rounded" kids who play sports, join clubs, are involved. Plus gym class isn't a requirement after sophomore year. THey need to stay active.

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You didn't mention the specific sport or how old you daughter is, but I think you are overthinking this and hubby is in the wrong. Your daughter doesn't want to do it. You don't like the coach and the other kids on the team. You both want a less hectic schedule. I guess I just don't see what the big deal is - seems like kind of a no-brainer to me. I don't think you should force a child to do anything that is optional if they don't want to do it in the first place. Not every kid has to play a team sport. And when she is older, she might end up finding something that she really loves and is part of a nicer group of people. I never did any team sports in school as a kid but I was in marching band, so the same mentality applied - we all had to work together as a team. Then it was in college that I discovered rowing - something that was not available to me until then. I fell in love with it and of course we all had to work together to succeed. Let it go for now, it's really not that big a deal, and let her find other activities that make her happy.

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I'd avoid drama and stress. Is there something else she can try without the drama so she can make new friends? I wouldn't want to deal with this mom either. Good luck!

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No, do not force her. She clearly knows what she wants and is old enough to express her wants and her reasons for them. Respect that -- you are respecting it already but someone else in your home isn't....

Why is your husband so invested in forcing her to do something she clearly does not want to do? Is it really also about forcing YOU to bite the bullet and put up with someone he believes you should just get along with, namely, the coach? Ask yourself, does he, in other cases, also want you and/or your child to do things he knows you don't want to do -- just so he can prove some point of his own (that you should be tougher, that your daughter MUST be in an organized sport "like other kids," etc.)? Think it over. I really wonder about dads/husbands who insist on children and wives doing things that they have clearly and unequivocally said are not for them. I think it's about more than one sport -- at some deeper level it may be about the dad himself and his own need to have a sporty kid, or a wife who doesn't "cave in" when he thinks she shouldn't. Don't let him bully you or your child on this.

You already dropped one individual sport. I don't see how a team sport, where she says she is not interested, is going to work. She will be miserable; you will be miserable; her schoolwork will suffer, since you're already struggling to keep up; her need for down time will grow greater, not less, if more of her time is burned up in an activity she dislikes. If you must, put it all on school -- Does he really understand that schoolwork is already a struggle?

If her real friends are on the ball team and your child was very eager to be with them, she would have said yes to the team! So I'd question whether she is burning to be with these friends anyway. Clearly she knows herself well enough to know that even WITH friends on the team, she does not want to do this. Nothing could be clearer than that. Once a week to play actually is pretty darned good if she has a demanding school load; my daughter doesn't even get that, between school and her activities. So please don't let the social aspect sway you. Listen to her. And get your husband to listen and respect her and you, as well.

3 moms found this helpful

My kids, like their father and I, don't like team sports. Hiking, bike riding, track and field/cross country, these are more up our alley. I did like basketball a lot, it's the only team sport I had any talent in, and those skills are great to learn for future use. Basketball translated into a sport I had in common with a lot of people, so at picnics and casual gatherings it was something I could participate in, and what kid doesn't like to try to get a ball into a net/bean bag into a hole/etc...? So I played it with my kids outside, too.

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My daughter is not in any team sports, and I'm glad she wasn't interested. She is in swimming lessons and Karate, theater and piano.

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Playing a sport should be FUN. If she's not enjoying it, then there is no reason for her to play.

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my two older brothers were in sports, baseball, bowling and foot ball once they were older. i one year for a month or so was in gym. i always thought it was very odd that i was never in any sports or other activities. i think one activity would be great for her to have. something like karate. something she enjoyed. i also would only take her once a week like the website stated. tell the coach that when you signed up that was the arrangement and twice a week wont work for you. if your girl wants to drop out she should. sounds like no one is enjoying it and truly thats what it is mostly about. you should get her in some sort of activity. i have seen on enjoying the small things website a play date location where they dress up and play. that might be more up her alley than sports with a misguided coach.

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How old is she, and how many activities is she in?

You mentioned that she was being forced to do this sport, and that she was asking for downtime. Those 2 things should be enough to help you make your decision.

I really dislike when parents force their kids to do things, or try to live vicariously through them, even if the child is miserable. Your husband needs to accept that your daughter is her own person & has her own likes, preferences & talents, that obviously are not in line with his.

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Don't force her. If there are other activities she would prefer to take part in like Girl Scouts or Youth Club or Madrigals or Theater, then let her do those. I did sports because my dad thought I should do them along with my brothers and while I enjoyed sports on my own terms and even in school, I hated being forced to play for extracurricular teams. I much preferred participating in the social groups and community service groups.

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No, I don't think you should force your daughter. It should be her choice. It sounds like she has enough activities to keep her busy but team sports do not interest everyone.

My daughter didn't start softball until she was 7 (late here!). Prior to that she was in dance classes and competitive figure skating. She loved the team atmosphere with softball, the bonding and had wonderful coaches in her rec ball, travel ball (extremely time consuming) and high school softball. Was she pushed to do her best...sure. I was a nervous wreck when she was called in to close out pitching a game but she loved the thrill of the competition. She started college this year and is not playing ball. We all miss it but her academics are most important to her.

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I think that you should find something team-oriented for her to do that requires her to go to the site and not have everyone come to her. I don't know her age, but it's important that she be exposed to teamwork and team-building not on her turf or her terms.

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Your first sentence sums it up:
"She has never tried a team sport, but says she does not want to do it."
There you go.
No.

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My husband coaches soccer and I have seen parents show up with children that definately do not want to do what the parents are forcing. I have watched my husband with amazement, run past those children standing next to the parent every once in a while and get them laughing or sit on the ground next to them and pick grass and talk to them and usually within 15min of practice the child is on the field having fun with the rest of the kids, my husband included. practice once a week, games once a week, the thing my husband says more than anything to the kids is lets have fun, if your child is not having fun then what is the point. plus soccer will help with any future in athletics.

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I don't know if you posted about this before -it kind of sounds like we're coming in on this in the middle of a conversation (is this something other than basketball and she's already playing basketball?), but regardless -if your daughter does NOT want to do this, and she's made her feelings known, then why on earth would your husband want to force her to do it? Talk about a way to make a kid hate team sports forever! What would you be missing out on -a whining, angry child and a bitchy coach? More stress? Why bring any of that on? And quite honestly, so what if your husband thinks you just don't want to deal with an awful coach and her kids -that sounds like a valid reason to me! I might feel differently if your daughter was begging to be on this team, but she's not, so don't sweat it.

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Why do people think they need to toughen up a girl by throwing them into stressful situations? Is that how you and your husband toughen up, by willingly putting yourself into more stressful situations? Tell your husband that things are different with girls. My daughter was probably excluded more because she was a driven athlete. But we helped her to follow HER dreams and then helped her deal with people and other stress when times got tough.

We wanted her to make her choices and then assist her in learning how to enjoy the positive aspects and dealing with the negative.

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I would tell the coach you are only able to attend one practice a week due to that being all that you expected when you scheduled this sport. If he tries to not let her play then report this coach. He will be someone else's coach and needs to understand he must follow the rules.

I believe that the leagues go by ages and how much time is allowed for practices. I remember when my granddaughter first started to play soccer they could not practice over 30 minutes per week. Their age group was limited. As she got older her practice time could be an hour and one coach did two 30 minutes sessions, not much could be accomplished in that time frame. Once she got to the 1 1/2 hour time frame they did have two 45 minute practices but it always sent to at least an hour each practice. No one complained because they were really happy with the coach and how he handled the girls. They almost always played as a team and they had a good rhythm.

So, if the parents don't complain then the coaches can pretty much do what they want.

As for doing something that is not a team sport let her try some other things that may be in a group but not as a team. Like dance, gymnastics, art classes, some other community agency that promotes public speaking like Toastmasters.

It sounds like you have a wonderful daughter that may end up using a degree to work in a community agency that helps people. I was working towards my BA in Sociology so I could do just that. Enjoying community service at her age is a good indicator she would be good in that field. Gaining self confidence and a growing a positive self image by doing activities that promote her strength and attitude can only be good.

1 mom found this helpful

If she doesn't want to try it, then don't force her. Then every practice and game it will be a battle to get her ready and out the door. It could be frustrating for both of you. Maybe something else could interest her like music lesson, dance or gymnastics. My sisters and I were never in sports, but were in dance lessons.

Maybe you could go to her friends games more often and then make plans after the game every once in a while. Don't stress about making sure your girl is well rounded.. she will be! Just do what works for you and your family!

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