I think it’s been said a few times. Each Olympic sport should have a regular person competing as well – just for reference. When it comes to our kids, for the most part we know that they’re not going to make the Olympics, the NHL or the NBA. We swear up and down that it’s all about the love of the game and having FUN. (Some leagues will even make you sign a wavier saying just that!).
But isn’t there some part of us inside that is secretly thrilled when our child excels at one sport? When the potential opens up to the next level? When their passion is ignited?
For those of us with kids who are utterly devoted to their sport, whether it be dance, soccer, hockey or any of the other pastimes available to our children – there comes a moment when we realize they could go even further. Some of us are more committed than others – and some of us just can’t afford to be that committed! Activities are already pricey as it takes time and money to manage any organized activity, and playing at a higher level comes with even more costs, starting from tryouts (bring cash!).
And then there is the stress for the kids. Most tryouts are held over several sessions or weeks. Which makes sense, because most kids won’t show their best every time so this gives them a few chances to shine. But it really draws out the process! Some kids will ask over and over again, and some will just be patient and wait. Some will beat themselves up about their performance and be heartbroken. Sometimes things are just not working in their favour, but it is our job as parents to reassure them that being successful means different things at different times.
Sometimes throughout the process, it’s really hard to not let our inner commentary out… so be sure to find a trustworthy buddy or your partner and let them know what you’re really thinking so that you can say all the right things in front of your child. And make sure the siblings are out of earshot too!