As a former high school and college athlete I am so thankful for the life lessons athletics have taught me. I have learned about goal setting, responsibility, achievement, how to handle disappointment, work ethic, and much more! One of the main lessons I have learned from participating in team sports is the importance of being on a team and all that it entails.
Just recently I had the unfortunate experience of watching a parent completely blow an opportunity for athletics to teach a life lesson, and instead taught their child it is okay to quit. I am currently the coach of my daughter's basketball team, which only has seven players on it and was just informed one of those players had decided to quit. When I was informed of this decision, my heart broke. Of course I felt awful for the six remaining players on the team, as they felt abandoned by their teammate/friend. I also knew the remainder of our season would provide many challenges having only six kids on the team. My biggest heartache however came for the girl who's parents allowed her to quit. At a young age she is being taught it is okay to quit on her teammates and not to face her fears. The reason this child quit was due to the anxiety that came with learning the rules, plays, and general game play. This was her first year of competitive basketball and she felt a bit overwhelmed. This girl did however, love to play, and was even a very solid player. I am 100% confident had her parents made her continue the season, her anxieties would have went away. Had this in fact happened, she would have learned the lesson to face her fears, instead she was taught to run away.
I would like to mention, that I did take advantage of this disappointing scenario to teach valuable lessons to the six girls that remain on the team. They now understand what if feels like to have a teammate quit on them, and I am quite confident none of them will ever do the quitting. They also understand how to adapt to different situations. With only six players, we have to alter our style of play. We make sure to stay out of foul trouble, and strategically call timeouts for resting sessions. The girls that remain on the team our benefiting greatly with the life lessons they are learning.
Parents, please don't allow your child to quit in the middle of a season, the adversity they face will only make them a stronger person. When you allow your child to quit, not only are you teaching them that this is acceptable, but you are also missing out on the other valuable lessons they may learn from participating.