We are always looking for the best possible situation for our kids, and that’s no different when it comes to sports. That said, sometimes sports parents go a bit overboard when they allow their kids to become team-hoppers and not stick with one program.
Maybe they want to play on a team where they get more playing time or get a chance to play the position they want. Or it could be that your child feels the coach doesn’t like them, so playing for another coach seems like the best option.
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Before I delve a bit deeper into why team-hopping is not a good idea, let me clarify this:
If your child is in a bad situation like bullying, a verbally abusive coach or an unhealthy team dynamic, moving them to another team or league may be necessary. That is not what I call team-hopping. That’s what I call proactive parenting.
However, doing this over and again and again because you or your child is not getting what you want is what I refer to as team-hopping and it is not a good trait to nurture in your child. Before you yank your player from a team to find another, be sure you are not merely helping your child to learn the habit of running from hard situations.
In my opinion, team-hopping athletes are missing out, and here’s why:
• Children miss out on learning to stick with a situation, even when it’s not opportune. Players that hop teams tend to think that the grass is always greener on the other field, and that mentality is a dangerous one to nurture in young kids.
• Children miss out on development opportunities. If your child goes from one team to another just to consistently be the best, how will they improve? Athletes need competition and practice to develop their skills – easy doesn’t help them get better.
• Children miss out on learning to be positive. If everything is perfect for your child, how will they learn to look for the positive? It’s the hard situations that teach kids to look for the good, find the silver lining. This also teaches kids about gratitude.
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Sports parents, are you going from one program to another in search of the perfect situation for your young athlete? If so, it might be time to burst the bubble you’ve tried to keep them in and help your child walk through the challenge, instead of running from it.
Janis Meredith is a family coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.