There will be days when your child does not want to practice or even play a game. He seems tired and his passion has fizzled.
The question you must help your child answer is this: “Can the passion be revived? Or is the flame of sports interest out for good?”
If your child shows even a hint of passion still smoldering--he still likes to watch or talk about the game; he enjoys his teammates and/or coach; he doesn’t want to throw out his sports equipment--then there’s a chance your child’s sports passion can be revived.
Here’s some ways you can help reignite it:
Make your child finish the season.
But my child is burned out! Isn’t that going to make it worse?
It might, at first. He may moan and complain and say hateful things about playing, but in the end, he will learn that sometimes the things we really love to do involve hard work. Your child will learn to work through the discomfort until it becomes fun again.
Make sure your child takes time off.
He may be determined, passionate and driven. That’s awesome! But everyone needs a break. At least one day a week, at least a few weeks out of the year. Your child needs to rest his mind and body in order to recharge and come back strong.
Help your child find other interests.
What else does your child love besides sports? Even if it’s nothing more than hanging with his friends, watching a good movie or reading a good book, encourage it. His mind needs a break from competition.
Encourage your child to have fun with his teammates outside of sports.
Teams bond when they laugh, explore and go on adventures that have nothing to do with their sport. The friendships that they cultivate off the field or court could be all the motivation they need to keep playing.
Have conversations about things other than sports.
Sometimes it's easy to fall into the habit of analyzing every play, every pass, every hit, every stat. Soon, you realize that you talk about nothing but sports. There is a time for talking sports and there is a time to forget about it. Make an effort to discuss topics outside of sports.
Watch your child’s sport with him on TV or go to another team’s game.
Watching others enjoy the game can motivate your child to get back out there and give it all he’s got. There was a reason he chose his sport in the first place. And maybe in the busyness of learning to get better, he forgot that reason. Watching the game just for pure fun and enjoyment can help him fall in love with it all over again.
If your child is tired of playing, it’s okay. Everyone needs a break. Let him take the break, try these suggestions, and then decide if he really wants to quit or if he is ready to come back stronger than ever.
Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called jbmthinks.com. Her latest book 11 Habits for Happy and Positive Sports Parents is on Amazon.