How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

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davebo
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How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by davebo » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:31 pm

My oldest son is almost 6 and has tried a couple different sports. He's run a couple local races (1 milers) wit his mom, he's played soccer, and he just finished up t-ball. The first 1/2 of the soccer season, he was really good/engaged. He wanted to be out there all the time, he would go after the ball, and he scored a few goals even though he was the youngest player. We asked him if he wanted to do basketball or indoor soccer or just take a break and he chose indoor soccer and that's when we saw his engagement start to fall off. It's actually not that his skills fell off I guess, it's just that he wasn't engaged in the game and going after the ball. He was around the ball, but just not really getting in there like he used to.

I thought it would work itself out, but this spring season (AYSO is fall/spring), he was very lethargic on the field and not really going after the ball much. I was the coach and I'm definitely not a pyscho with the kids, but I felt no amount of encouraging or tips would really change his behavior. It actually had the opposite affect in that anytime I gave him any instruction he made it out like i was criticizing him. I don't expect him to be the best on the field, but I do want him to try his hardest. He says he wants to continue playing, but I' have to admit it's frustrating to watch him just putz around out there.

I don't want to push him away from sports by focusing too much on it, so I started to just praise his effort out there and try to encourage him when I could. Didn't really help for the rest of the year and I just found that he was even less engaged.

Any tips? I more want him to stay active and don't want him to rule out sports at such a young age. Maybe a few months off will do him good.

stan1
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by stan1 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:41 pm

I would keep trying different things such as hiking, bicycling, swimming, tennis, and keep up the running with mom. He may never be a "jock" or enjoy team sports, but he can still enjoy physical fitness now and as he moves into his teens.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by Rubiosa » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:52 pm

"Putzing" around out there is what six-year-olds do. It's normal.

It's also normal for daddies to over-emphasize sports.

But it's not usually a good thing to do. I'd say lighten up a tad and enjoy him. He won't be six again.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by livesoft » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:20 pm

Let him play at the community pool, no competition. Get him and his buddies rip sticks or skate boards or bikes. No need for organized sports at this age.

I cannot imagine a 6-year-old playing basketball and I have coached youth basketball from 3rd grade to 12th grade.

Also check if you have bad breathe.
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:43 pm

Take him fishing. Buy a pole, some line and dig up a few worms. I guarantee you he'll be interested in the sport of fishing.
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by sscritic » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:56 pm

Ballet and tap dancing are great for exercise. Plus he will be the star.

Kids find what they find. My daughter found ice skating; my son found gymnastics; the granddaughters have found dance. In every case, something else came first: AYSO, t-ball, softball, basketball, singing, etc. You can't really force anything.

Is there a Y near you? They have classes in more than just swimming. One granddaughter takes American sign language, but that's not exercise; ballet, swimming, tap, and jazz dance are.

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stemikger
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by stemikger » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:04 pm

Hey Davebo,

I'm 50 now but I was very much like your son when I was young. Being involved with sports was a curse to me not a blessing. Due to the fact that I was so sensitive and withdrawn, the competition aspect was not good for someone like me. If I had different parents or was born in today's age, I'm sure I would have been seeing a therapist but my parents were too busy working trying to escape the poverty we were living in.

I was also too embarrassed to ask for help and I didn't want to seem different so I tried to stick with it. I especially didn't want to show my weakness to my dad. I would sit down with your son and say it's o.k. if you don't like sports right now and maybe you should take a break and try your hand at something else that is non-sports related.

My nephew was the star football player in his high school. Everyone wanted to be Mike. Unfortunately even though Mike was the star of the team, he was only doing it to make his dad happy. This year, Mike had the courage to quit football and go into theater and I have never seen him happier. In fact, he is a different kid. I knew Mike seemed depressed but I would never guess it was because he hated playing football even though he was so good at it. His dad my brother-in-law is a football fanatic and he was doing it just to please him. The school was so devastated that they tried an intervention to get him back on the team. They live in North Carolina where they are very into high school football. They were originally from New York.

Being a 50 year old man who has no interest in sports, I personally think the culture we live in puts an unhealthy emphasis on sports especially for kids who don't feel they belong or are the sensitive types. I truly think if I didn't have such negative experiences when I was young I might be more interested in watching sports today. Having said all this, you sound like a good guy who is doing the right thing. Just don't push too hard.

Good Luck!
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by Calm Man » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:04 pm

Father, the kid may not like sports. But he actually might. I am surprised nobody has picked up on what COULD be the problem, but not definitely. You should not coach your own son. Are you kidding? You are his father. So I suggest giving him the opportunity to play for a coach that is not his father.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by CFOKevin » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:19 pm

Davebo,

Your situation seems very similar to what I experienced with my son. His interest in team sports fell far short of his skill level..He made it only through 8 year-old soccer and probably wouldn't have played the last year at all if it was not for me being the coach (and we were the mellowest team in the league).

Update 7 years later and the closest to a team sport for him is ultimate frisbee. He also has his black belt in Tae Kwan Do, enjoys disc golf, computer programming and robotics, etc. They each find their own path. Encourage your son to try things he might be interested in and he'll develop into an amazing young adult.

Best of Luck,

Kevin

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by MN Finance » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:20 pm

Well, hes 6.

As the father of 4, we have given all the opportunity to get into several sports. Weve parented each kid the same, yet their engagement on the field is all over the map. My 8 year old hockey player loves hockey, but the fastest he skated the entire season was after he got lucky and scored a goal in celebration. We all looked at each other in the stands and laughed. I'm guessing he likes goofing off in the locker room, not really playing. My 4 year old, otoh, is leveling kids a foot taller on the soccer field and desperately scratching and clawing every moment to score. Im just as excited about her goals as my son's dead puck skating exhibitions. Today they spent 20mins tying to poke each other's eyes out with sticks in the yard. Who the heck cares.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by peppers » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:28 pm

Let him find his own way. We raised three boys and one girl and they played everything in school. Baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, and indoor floor hockey.

How did they turn out?

My daughter is a teacher and works with special needs children, two of my sons are software developers and one son is an automotive mechanic.

P.S. If mom and dad ever have computer or car trouble, we have our "go to people". :)
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by sscritic » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:29 pm

stemikger wrote: This year, Mike had the courage to quit football and go into theater and I have never seen him happier.
My granddaughters love musical theatre and have been in productions since ages 5, 3, and 4 (the minimum age is 4, but when your big sister is already there, why not? On the other hand, the youngest just wasn't interested at 3; she waited a year). I didn't mention it, as it is not "exercise" or "sports," but there are not many things better than seeing your granddaughter fly through the air on wires in Peter Pan (Jane) and The Little Mermaid (Flounder). Oh, and how did she get the flying parts?: because she had taken tumbling at the Y and could sing. The singing comes naturally, but singing classes at the Y didn't hurt.

Let your kids do what they find interesting. This is true for activities, studies, and most importantly, careers.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by retiredjg » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:58 pm

Is it possible that his change in attitude has nothing to do with sports at all? Just because that is where you see the change in behavior does not mean that is the cause of his change in behavior.

Maybe he has something else on his mind.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by mephistophles » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:07 pm

davebo wrote:My oldest son is almost 6 and has tried a couple different sports. He's run a couple local races (1 milers) wit his mom, he's played soccer, and he just finished up t-ball. The first 1/2 of the soccer season, he was really good/engaged. He wanted to be out there all the time, he would go after the ball, and he scored a few goals even though he was the youngest player. We asked him if he wanted to do basketball or indoor soccer or just take a break and he chose indoor soccer and that's when we saw his engagement start to fall off. It's actually not that his skills fell off I guess, it's just that he wasn't engaged in the game and going after the ball. He was around the ball, but just not really getting in there like he used to.

I thought it would work itself out, but this spring season (AYSO is fall/spring), he was very lethargic on the field and not really going after the ball much. I was the coach and I'm definitely not a pyscho with the kids, but I felt no amount of encouraging or tips would really change his behavior. It actually had the opposite affect in that anytime I gave him any instruction he made it out like i was criticizing him. I don't expect him to be the best on the field, but I do want him to try his hardest. He says he wants to continue playing, but I' have to admit it's frustrating to watch him just putz around out there.

I don't want to push him away from sports by focusing too much on it, so I started to just praise his effort out there and try to encourage him when I could. Didn't really help for the rest of the year and I just found that he was even less engaged.

Any tips? I more want him to stay active and don't want him to rule out sports at such a young age. Maybe a few months off will do him good.
Hi davebo,
Yeah, I will give you a few tips on this topic, based on my experience of raising two boys and learning to coach recreational and competitive travel soccer. In hindsight, one of the worst parenting mistakes I ever made.
1. At age 6 kids should not be engaged in sports of any kind. Instead, allow them to play with other kids outdoors. They will get plenty of exercise and socialization, and
most importantly--have fun.
2. At age 10 or so, give children the opportunity to play in several sports and other areas of interest and allow the child's interest to develop naturally. Some will want to stay
in sports and some will choose other avenues of interest.
3.Never, every, under and cirecumstances allow yourself to be drawn into the insanity that overtakes parents when little Jimmy or Susie shows acumen in some activity. That
insanity (originally called Little League Syndrome) is all about the parents needs and almost never about the real needs of the child. Of course, encourage your children and
show support in all their activities.
4.Get out of youth coaching if you feel the need for your little one to excel at any sport or similar activity. If you are really competitive sports-wise, join an adult team of some kind
and compete as much as you want.
ole meph

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by BigTom » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:46 pm

I kind of have this issue with my 4 yo . We had him do soccer then the third season he just stopped playing wouldn't even go on the field . I signed him up for a few more things tried basketball , and nothing . But finally hit on baseball ,he likes playing it and looks forward to going and playing . I wouldn't say he is giving it his all out there though. Also only one kid there seems to be really into it so I'd assume that's not primal for the age .

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by sscritic » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:15 pm

Four years old and won't perform for you? OMG!

Now my five year old granddaughter is the one we call the Allen Iverson of tap. (She was already the Allen Iverson of tap when she was four.)
We in here talkin' about practice. Not the game. Not the game I go out there and die for and play every game like it's my last. We talkin' about practice. How silly is that?
Short version, taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29VsG35DQM

Now once the show starts, she is the real Allen Iverson of tap. She is the star of the show and she knows it. She is not tapping with kids her own age, but kids three and four years older than she.

Maybe you have a current or future Allen Iverson on your hands.

The teacher once asked in class who had practiced since the previous class. Her hand shot right up, and she announced, "I didn't."

Love her to death. Try that with your kids.

P.S. In "On My Way to Broadway" practice, she would either sing or dance, but not both at the same time. As her big sister explained, she was probably bored. But when the curtain goes up and the lights go on, watch out!

Maybe you need brighter lights on your athletic fields. :)

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by HardKnocker » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:20 pm

If your kid asks you to get him involved in a sport fine but otherwise it is not important to play youth sports at all. Not in the least.

And don't be his coach either.

Better to send him to math or science tutoring/camp.
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by island » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:25 pm

Like others said he's 6. You may not think you were "psycho", but you admitted to feeling frustrated and he felt he was being criticized so you were probably psycho enough. Soccer may not be his game or he might not be a competitive kid. Either way may be better to encourage him as a dad in the spectator seats rather than as his coach; at least at this age. Encourage him to have fun and to try other things. Good luck.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by sscritic » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:33 pm

HardKnocker wrote:If your kid asks you to get him involved in a sport fine but otherwise it is not important to play youth sports at all. Not in the least.

And don't be his coach either.

Better to send him to math or science tutoring/camp.
Umm, did you read what you wrote? Don't send him to math or science camp unless your kid asks you to send him.

I did force my kids to go to the public schools I wanted them to go to, but that ended at high school graduation. Other than that, the only thing they were forced to do was say please and thank you and never call an older person by a first name. Oh, and kiss older relatives and family friends on the cheek when greeting them or saying good-by. However, we never forced them to make mano.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by likegarden » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:43 pm

In comparison to Europe the emphasis on sports is way overblown here in the US. In public schools in Germany many years ago there was no organized sport activity, such as sports teams of schools playing against each other. Same in college there was no organized sport. Though in elementary to high school sport was taught outside and in a gym. School was there to teach the 3 Rs.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by Bidwell » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:51 pm

sscritic wrote:
HardKnocker wrote: I did force my kids to go to the public schools I wanted them to go to, but that ended at high school graduation. Other than that, the only thing they were forced to do was say please and thank you and never call an older person by a first name. Oh, and kiss older relatives and family friends on the cheek when greeting them or saying good-by. However, we never forced them to make mano.
+1. I am of a same mind on children and parents.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by wbond » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:52 pm

likegarden wrote:In comparison to Europe the emphasis on sports is way overblown here in the US. In public schools in Germany many years ago there was no organized sport activity, such as sports teams of schools playing against each other. Same in college there was no organized sport. Though in elementary to high school sport was taught outside and in a gym. School was there to teach the 3 Rs.
I just saw the U.S. world cup coach (a German) explain that the U.S. soccer players are at a great disadvantage because they waste their young lives going to school (from age 17-22) instead of playing professional soccer. Football, if you must.

But, really, nothing says youth dedication to sport like Sumo. How much must it suck to turn out in the end to only be a mediocre Sumo wrestler?

4 and 6 year-old sporting angst? Is this entire thread a disturbed parody of "Daddy ball?" How's your kindergartener doing in the backyard batting cage? Are the wind-sprints with the parachute harness working out?

Beat Cal

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by sscritic » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:54 pm

wbond wrote: Beat Cal
Best advice of the thread, even better than my own. :)

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by wbond » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:59 pm

sscritic wrote:
wbond wrote: Beat Cal
Best advice of the thread, even better than my own. :)
I thought you might like that.

As is often the case, much of the above has been said better before:

"If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work"

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by retiredjg » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:00 pm

Gonna go out on a limb here. What does your wife think? Obviously, you don't have to tell us, but you should give it a lot of consideration.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by lululu » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:23 pm

6? 4? Being forced into sports at that age would have been a nightmare for me. That's what he's trying to tell you. Let the kid play instead. I believe there's even some evidence that the human body can be harmed by overstressing it at a very young age.

In a few years, let him decide what sports or other activities he wants to participate in, and do not coach him yourself.

It took me years (well, decades actually) to recover from being forced into sports and playing the piano as a kid and find that there were forms of exercise and music that I enjoyed. They had no relation to the ones I had to do as a kid.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by ramsfan » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:39 pm

I have a National Youth License in Soccer, two things

First, kids at the age of 6 engage in imaginative play, not real play. Thus, you need to make the soccer activities seem like make believe. Have the kids take on the persona of an animal during practice (monkey, lion, bear), have them think of parts of the field being lava, ocean, etc...

Also, at age 6, kids do not have the ability to think of being part of a team. It is them against the world. If you ever tell one of your players to pass, you are not coaching correctly, the kids have no ability to discern that.

Ten bucks says that even though you don't think you are criticizing your son, you are, and you don't know it. Suggest you not coach him, or if you enjoy coaching and continue to do it, make absolutely sure you have one or two assistant coaches, and the RULE is if they ever hear you talk to your son during practice or game, you owe them a beer. Also, don't talk to your son about soccer outside of practice and games, period.

I coach, and when my boys were 8, my assistant coach caught me yelling at my son "get back, hustle!!!", he says to me "shut up, he's doing fine". My son heard that, and copped a huge smile on his face while he was running back in the play. It is a great memory we all have, and I have not said anything to him since.

Trust me, this all works.

Good luck!

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by BigTom » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:43 pm

sscritic wrote:Four years old and won't perform for you? OMG!

Now my five year old granddaughter is the one we call the Allen Iverson of tap. (She was already the Allen Iverson of tap when she was four.)
We in here talkin' about practice. Not the game. Not the game I go out there and die for and play every game like it's my last. We talkin' about practice. How silly is that?
Short version, taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29VsG35DQM

Now once the show starts, she is the real Allen Iverson of tap. She is the star of the show and she knows it. She is not tapping with kids her own age, but kids three and four years older than she.

Maybe you have a current or future Allen Iverson on your hands.

The teacher once asked in class who had practiced since the previous class. Her hand shot right up, and she announced, "I didn't."

Love her to death. Try that with your kids.

P.S. In "On My Way to Broadway" practice, she would either sing or dance, but not both at the same time. As her big sister explained, she was probably bored. But when the curtain goes up and the lights go on, watch out!

Maybe you need brighter lights on your athletic fields. :)
My issue wasn't that he isn't preforming , but not participating . My point was it took me three seasons of different sports before he came around again . I am not worried if he can ever preform at a high level . I am worried that he regrets not playing sports later in life . Like myself . Actually my biggest regret . I am 6'7" and didn't play basketball in high school because I didn't want to wear a tank top because I had acne , I quit football twice before the season started , and played lacrosse for a few years but that's it . I am not very good at basketball but my hight I likely would have gotten a scholarship .

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by mephistophles » Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:29 am

BigTom wrote: I am worried that he regrets not playing sports later in life . Like myself .
Yeah.......right......make sure your 4 yo has his priorities in place.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by Alex Frakt » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:04 am

I thought it would work itself out, but this spring season (AYSO is fall/spring), he was very lethargic on the field and not really going after the ball much. I was the coach and I'm definitely not a pyscho with the kids, but I felt no amount of encouraging or tips would really change his behavior. It actually had the opposite affect in that anytime I gave him any instruction he made it out like i was criticizing him. I don't expect him to be the best on the field, but I do want him to try his hardest. He says he wants to continue playing, but I' have to admit it's frustrating to watch him just putz around out there.

I don't want to push him away from sports by focusing too much on it, so I started to just praise his effort out there and try to encourage him when I could. Didn't really help for the rest of the year and I just found that he was even less engaged.
I am not worried if he can ever preform at a high level . I am worried that he regrets not playing sports later in life . Like myself . Actually my biggest regret . I am 6'7" and didn't play basketball in high school because I didn't want to wear a tank top because I had acne , I quit football twice before the season started , and played lacrosse for a few years but that's it . I am not very good at basketball but my hight I likely would have gotten a scholarship .
Two posters. One answer.

Don't project your issues onto your child.

A suggestion. If you want your son to find sports interesting, then lead by example. Find a sport you can do now - as a participant, not a coach. If you enjoy it, you son will see that and will start associating sports with something that makes you happy, rather than something that makes his dad mad at him.

As a bonus, it just might help the latter poster get over the silliness of regretting his imagined high-school basketball career.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by carolinaman » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:09 am

Calm Man wrote:Father, the kid may not like sports. But he actually might. I am surprised nobody has picked up on what COULD be the problem, but not definitely. You should not coach your own son. Are you kidding? You are his father. So I suggest giving him the opportunity to play for a coach that is not his father.
I agree. I coached soccer for six years. My son played for me but if I had it to do over, I would have let him play for another coach. I tried to treat him like the other kids but he did not respond well to my coaching and it was difficult to criticize him like the other kids. One of my fellow coaches had me coach his son for the same reason. The last 2 years were better, ages 13 and 14. He was more mature and knew the game much better. My son did not start playing soccer until age 9. I know the kids start sports earlier today, but age 6 is very young. There is plenty of time for him to find out what he likes to do in extra curricular activities.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by goodenoughinvestor » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:17 am

Leave him alone. Don't coach.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by J295 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:43 am

So you can filter my observations, I think there are some benefits to sports in term of socialization, physical fitness, work ethic, and teamwork, but there are a fair number of downsides too, including crazy parent and coach behaviors and expectations.

My advice is pretty basic, which I'm sure OP and all parents try to do: love your kids unconditionally. I think this involves observing and listening to help them discover their passions and talents through exposure to areas where they can succeed and fail in a safe environment, and being sincerely open to the notion that sports may not be their passion or talent and that they will have a grand life without being an athlete.

Incidentally, this can require some courage of sorts to follow your own path, as many incorrectly believe that their kids need to be on every select team in order to have a happy existence. Not true. Our kids did sports at a high level -- including a division one all conference athlete -- but we gave them all license to transition away from sports when they were no longer fun. And they did .... one transitioned in high school to try the school musical, and loved it. One did before her college eligibility ran out because it was clearly not fun anymore and she wanted to study abroad. The one who performed at a more modest high school level continues at a high level now as an adult running marathons.

You are a caring father I'm sure, and I wish you well.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by BigTom » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:44 am

Alex Frakt wrote:
I thought it would work itself out, but this spring season (AYSO is fall/spring), he was very lethargic on the field and not really going after the ball much. I was the coach and I'm definitely not a pyscho with the kids, but I felt no amount of encouraging or tips would really change his behavior. It actually had the opposite affect in that anytime I gave him any instruction he made it out like i was criticizing him. I don't expect him to be the best on the field, but I do want him to try his hardest. He says he wants to continue playing, but I' have to admit it's frustrating to watch him just putz around out there.

I don't want to push him away from sports by focusing too much on it, so I started to just praise his effort out there and try to encourage him when I could. Didn't really help for the rest of the year and I just found that he was even less engaged.
I am not worried if he can ever preform at a high level . I am worried that he regrets not playing sports later in life . Like myself . Actually my biggest regret . I am 6'7" and didn't play basketball in high school because I didn't want to wear a tank top because I had acne , I quit football twice before the season started , and played lacrosse for a few years but that's it . I am not very good at basketball but my hight I likely would have gotten a scholarship .
Two posters. One answer.

Don't project your issues onto your child.

A suggestion. If you want your son to find sports interesting, then lead by example. Find a sport you can do now - as a participant, not a coach. If you enjoy it, you son will see that and will start associating sports with something that makes you happy, rather than something that makes his dad mad at him.

As a bonus, it just might help the latter poster get over the silliness of regretting his imagined high-school basketball career.
There was more to it then my "basketball career" that worries me . Like I stated the main issue was that I didn't participate not that he/I was any good at the sport . I had quite a miserable high school experience , loosing long time friends because I quit sports was part go the reason . Being involved in something is very beneficial to kids , they learn to interact with others , teamwork , and many other traits that I do not have . If you aren't interested in something you don't have a personality . When someone asked you what your favorite team is and you say you don't watch sports , or nothing of interest to find friends with common interest you will be a boring person . There is a lot of value in that .

I will explain to kids why I'd like them to stick out sports but never force them to play or whatever they want to do , I just priced out hip hop dance dance class for my son because he is interested in music and dancing , I just want him to be interested in something . Maybe you misconstrued my statements above .

TO
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by TO » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:33 am

In addition to all the other great advice here, I suggest spending time on the Positive Coaching Alliance website (http://www.positivecoach.org). Check out the "tools for parents" and "tools for coaches" links.

As a father of two boys active in youth sports, I can say from experience that it's very difficult to have the proper perspective on these issues when your first child becomes involved in organized team sports. I learned a lot through trial and error with my first son (mostly his trial, my error). In retrospect, I wish I would have been armed with all the knowledge and wisdom shared by PCA BEFORE starting as a father/coach.

sscritic
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by sscritic » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:43 am

BigTom wrote: There was more to it then my "basketball career" that worries me . Like I stated the main issue was that I didn't participate not that he/I was any good at the sport . I had quite a miserable high school experience , loosing long time friends because I quit sports was part go the reason . Being involved in something is very beneficial to kids , they learn to interact with others , teamwork , and many other traits that I do not have . If you aren't interested in something you don't have a personality . When someone asked you what your favorite team is and you say you don't watch sports , or nothing of interest to find friends with common interest you will be a boring person . There is a lot of value in that .

I will explain to kids why I'd like them to stick out sports but never force them to play or whatever they want to do , I just priced out hip hop dance dance class for my son because he is interested in music and dancing , I just want him to be interested in something . Maybe you misconstrued my statements above .
I may have as well. I like the idea that you are finding a dance class for your son. Dancing for an hour is great exercise. I would die after 10 minutes in the adult Zumba classes I see in my YMCA while watching my grandchildren tumble and dance tap, ballet, and jazz. Now if my knees were a little better, I might join in just to meet the ladies (but as we know from another thread, I am too lazy for that).

I don't know if there is a Y near you, but they have all sorts of classes in singing, dancing, tumbling, basketball and just fun stuff for kids to get them moving.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by sscritic » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:49 am

BigTom wrote: I will explain to kids why I'd like them to stick out sports but never force them to play or whatever they want to do
Actually, this was another of our rules. My kids could stop a sport, but never in the middle of a season. The commitments you make in your life are yours, and you have to live up to them; that was our lesson.

Now there was one exception: After 8 years of competitive ice skating, with her mother 2000 miles away, with us about to move there, with her going to finish high school away from her friends, with the end in sight no matter what, my daughter was allowed to quit ice skating. I don't even know what a season is, but with all that was going on in her life and the fact that she was frustrated by not making any progress, I allowed her to quit. But I made her call her coach on the phone and tell her herself.

peppers
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by peppers » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:09 am

The recreation department of the park district where my wife works they have:

Button Ballet
Irish Dance
Cheer Dance
Ballet Tap
Pom Dance
Rhythmic Gymnastics
Beginning Tumbling
Intermediate Tumbling
Little Ninjas
Pee Wee Tae Kwon Do
Co-Ed Basketball
Floor Hockey

...and this is just for the young children. They have other activities for older children and adults.


P.S. My wife takes our granddaughter to her adult Zumba class once in awhile. I don't Zumba, I am too lazy.
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."

dekecarver
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by dekecarver » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:23 am

I'm one of those dad's who helps coach my son's baseball team. Single A level, ages 6-8 going on 9. I got involved because of my son wanting to play not because I wanted my son to play. I can relate to your experience in some ways and offer several thoughts:
1) Have you taken a walk with your son to simple ask something like "Are you having fun playing..?" After all at this age IMO that is the sole objective.
2) Sometimes kids who don't excel or feel as tho they are not good at something demonstrate their feelings in different ways. Become disengaged, no energy etc..
3) Does soccer only happen at practice and games or do you go to the yard and just goof off with a soccer ball at times.
4) Have you asked Mommy to chat with him, mommy can do that in a way that daddy can't :shock: You may be surprised at what he shares with her if not already done.

My guess is that he either 1) may be losing interest or 2) may sense the other kids becoming more assertive and that may not be fun for him. My son shared number 2 with with his mother. After determining that he still wanted to play because he wanted to his mother and I then turned our focus on: a) still having fun; b) working with him away from team practice time, again emphasizing having fun while developing skills and confidence; and c) keeping it simple, it ain't rocket science once you get the emotion out of it.

And a parting word coming from my bird dog training experience: Pups and kids are very similar in ways. Some are hardheaded, some are soft and the rest are in between. You gotta tailor the training/experience to the individual. What I learned with pups/dogs is that they effectively communicate, you just have to be very observable in watching how they respond to different situations. Kids are the same especially at an early age because they don't know how to verbally communicate somethings but they sure as hell can demonstrate it behaviorally.

Sometimes you pack up and quietly go home and start over the next day.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by HardKnocker » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:05 am

sscritic wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:If your kid asks you to get him involved in a sport fine but otherwise it is not important to play youth sports at all. Not in the least.

And don't be his coach either.

Better to send him to math or science tutoring/camp.
Umm, did you read what you wrote? Don't send him to math or science camp unless your kid asks you to send him.

I did force my kids to go to the public schools I wanted them to go to, but that ended at high school graduation. Other than that, the only thing they were forced to do was say please and thank you and never call an older person by a first name. Oh, and kiss older relatives and family friends on the cheek when greeting them or saying good-by. However, we never forced them to make mano.
Being forced to kiss relatives? Whoa! Sick! :D
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by texasdiver » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:08 am

I have 3 daughters and have been through the same thing with them. Basically what we have told all three of them is that there are two things that we expect from them outside of school. One is to be physically active and the other is to study music. However they get to chose the activity and music. Our thoughts are that learning to be physically active is really important in this society that leans towards sedentary lifestyles and obesity. Music is more to do with being a well educated individual.

For daughter #1 the sports have come easy. She now plays HS soccer and spend the offseason playing on various select soccer teams. Music has been more difficult to her. She was in middle school orchestra but never really liked it. Now she is learning guitar and loves it.

For daughter #2 who is 11 the sports have been a challenge. We did soccer for a few years but she never liked it and did a lot of standing around like your son. She wasn't having fun. She likes cycling so I have bought her a nice road bike and we do long rides together on the weekends when time and weather permit. But we have found that she likes swimming so we have enrolled her with the local swim club. Now she swims 4 times a week for 1.5 hours of practice and really likes her swim friends and coaches. She actually likes practice a lot more than swim meets which are long weekend affairs with lots of sitting around. So we do lots of practices and skip lots of the meets and she is happy with that. It turns out she is just a natural water sprite. She is now asking to learn scuba. For daughter #2 music is what has come easy. She has been playing piano for years now and is starting saxophone.

Daughter #3 is the easy one. At 8 she is in her 4th year of soccer and 3rd year of piano and loves both. I don't have to push her at either, she practices both on her own without being reminded and at 7 am she is dressed up in her uniform and pacing around ready to go for an 11 am game.

Point is...ask yourself what you want out of sports. For us it is not so much the sport itself as it is learning to live a physically active lifestyle. As long as our kids are out being physically active instead of sitting in front of screens then we are basically happy and will support them. Doesn't have to be traditional team sports. We really don't care.
Last edited by texasdiver on Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

sscritic
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by sscritic » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:09 am

HardKnocker wrote: Being forced to kiss relatives? Whoa! Sick! :D
It's a cultural thing. Some cultures use the one cheek kiss, others the two cheeks kiss, and still others the three cheeks kiss. Oops, not that third cheek; I mean the first cheek a second time.

You have to know whom you are greeting. I am old, and I sometimes forget how many cheeks each person is worth. :)

P.S. It's not a sex thing. I am male, and my nephews of that culture all kiss me on the cheek when greeting me. My nephews from the used-to-be-dominant culture in the US give me hugs, but without the kiss.

P.P.S. I was born a used-to-be.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by Martello Shores » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:26 am

We insisted that our kids learn to swim. After that, we encouraged them to try different sports--skating, hockey, basketball, soccer. Our youngest, a bit of a loner, fell in love with sailing (eventually instructing children and adults), track and field (sprinter), and late in high school, ballet. I think the latter was mostly the showmanship and the girls, but he became quite muscular from lifting them, and more difficult still, letting them down slowly. Another up side of that experience is that as a senior engineering student, he now enjoys theater dates. He also enjoyed HS marching band, which is a remarkably aerobic activity, and probably adds to his current enjoyment of college games.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by porcupine » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:40 am

sscritic wrote:
HardKnocker wrote: Being forced to kiss relatives? Whoa! Sick! :D
It's a cultural thing. Some cultures use the one cheek kiss, others the two cheeks kiss, and still others the three cheeks kiss. Oops, not that third cheek; I mean the first cheek a second time.

You have to know whom you are greeting. I am old, and I sometimes forget how many cheeks each person is worth. :)

P.S. It's not a sex thing. I am male, and my nephews of that culture all kiss me on the cheek when greeting me. My nephews from the used-to-be-dominant culture in the US give me hugs, but without the kiss.

P.P.S. I was born a used-to-be.
Yes, there are cultural things that one misses when one is not in one's country of origin anymore. Especially when those things appear appalling to folks in other countries.

One (not the only) thing I miss about India is how kids address family friends and even strangers. Even in the case of men, if the age difference is enough, outside of a professional setting (where the form of address would most likely be "sir"), elders are referred to "uncle" or "aunty" - you would be "sscritic uncle" to me :-). Taylor would be "Taylor uncle" as well. Wonder how you would feel if you were addressed as such ...

PS: I am talking of my India of the 20th century - things might not be exactly the same anymore. As kids, we used to play pick-up games with friends in the same neighborhood. I have learned that games are more organized nowadays.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by porcupine » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:49 am

texasdiver wrote:I have 3 daughters and have been through the same thing with them. Basically what we have told all three of them is that there are two things that we expect from them outside of school. One is to be physically active and the other is to study music. However they get to chose the activity and music. Our thoughts are that learning to be physically active is really important in this society that leans towards sedentary lifestyles and obesity. Music is more to do with being a well educated individual.[...]
+1 (though you could replace music with dance).

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by texasdiver » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:39 am

porcupine wrote:
texasdiver wrote:I have 3 daughters and have been through the same thing with them. Basically what we have told all three of them is that there are two things that we expect from them outside of school. One is to be physically active and the other is to study music. However they get to chose the activity and music. Our thoughts are that learning to be physically active is really important in this society that leans towards sedentary lifestyles and obesity. Music is more to do with being a well educated individual.[...]
+1 (though you could replace music with dance).
Well, I would consider dance to be more of a physical activity. Music....learning to read music, scales, notes, chords, etc. is more cognitive. If I had a daughter who would rather dance than play soccer I'd be just fine with that. But they tend to go in the other direction. We have tried dance but they get bored with it. Too much standing around I think, and too fussy.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by mephistophles » Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:55 pm

Big Tom,
Alex has hit the nail on the head. I think you have some issues you need to work out, perhaps with some help. If you don't project them on your child you will be a much better parent and you will have a much happier, healthy child.
ole meph

island
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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by island » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:32 pm

Oh brother, the more I see threads like this, the more I wonder why post a topic like this on a website that's designed for financial discussion. Eventually the armchair psychiatrists show up to suggest others seek professional help for their "issues" :oops:

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by clacy » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:37 pm

My first suggestion is let someone else coach and see if that helps. He may just not like the dynamic of having his coach be his father.

Secondly, if that doesn't help, stop worrying about it.

Focus on the important things in life such as raising him to be a good person. The extracurricular activities will sort themselves out, IMO with or without athletics.

I played major college football (full scholarship, team captain, etc). My oldest son is around your son's age and has shown very little interest in sports, and I'm perfectly fine with that. My younger son tends to be far more interested.

Football was great for me. It gave me a paid-for education and definitely opened doors for my career path. With that said, there is far more to life than sports and as long as my kids are working towards "something" and are good people, I really won't worry too much whether they play sports or not.

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Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Post by Levett » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:52 pm

"Oh brother, the more I see threads like this, the more I wonder why post a topic like this on a website that's designed for financial discussion. Eventually the armchair psychiatrists show up to suggest others seek professional help for their "issues"

I couldn't agree more.

Father of three sons. All made different choices. And, yeah, I coached two sons because they asked me too. No trauma. Some wins/some losses/lots of good memories for all of us.

Lev

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