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The drama of rejection

I recently received a monthly news letter from an important website in which questions by parents are published and answers by an expert are given.

One mom expressed her concern about her son's being cut from a middle school basketball team. I didn't copy and paste the question or the answer given by the expert, because I don't need problems, but in synthesis, he talked about the how being cut from a sports team is the first and most dramatic form of public rejection. After, he added that it can seem catastrophic and this child could begin to doubt himself and his self esteem could be badly affected.

The solution proposed was to tell them: "You know I love you and think highly of you", etc., etc. to fight the usual sense of guilt that many parents have. It doesn't seem to me that a child has to be cut from a team in order to hear "I love you and I think highly of you" from their parents. It's something that should be being said often in daily life.

I have the clear sensation that we make problems that don't exist.

The reality is that it's a trauma for us if our sons and daughters are cut from a team and we transfer our frustrations to them. Using words like 'drama', 'rejection' and 'catastrophic', because of being cut from a middle school basketball team or soccer team or whatever, is simply ABSURD.

Tsunamis are catastrophic. Hurricanes are catastrophic. Earthquakes are catastrophic.

In the last few weeks we've seen what really is catastrophic, in New Orleans and in Pakistan. In that unfortunate country, thousands of kids will not play basketball anymore because they died in the earthquake. An entire generation has disappeared. This is dramatic for real, not like being cut from a team. If you explain this to your children, I can assure you that they will clearly understand the difference. So please, get back to reality.

In continuing to read the same article, the expert said that if children don't make the team, try to enter into "Quality Recreational Programs". In my opinion this doesn't need to be officially organized. Our sons and daughters need to play soccer, basketball or any other sport to have fun. At their age it's not the World Cup, it's not the Olympic Games, it's not a question of life or death. Youths, basically, should play spontaneous pick-up games in the park, on the beach, in the back yard or on the school playground.

If we so fortunate as to have 15 little Kobe Bryant's, a few will be cut anyway. If we have 25 little Beckham's a few will be cut anyway, because they can't play in 25. But that doesn't mean they aren't good. It simply means there are others who are just as good or better, but they can only play in 11 plus a few substitutions. The culture of always being the best is ridiculous anyway, because we can't all be the best!

All kids need to play pick-up games for fun and only those who really excel enter into official teams at school or in clubs.

WE create enormous pressure and our children get frustrated if they don't reach OUR EXPECTATIONS. Our job is not to compensate for our frustrations. Our job is to teach them to do their best, without forgetting that every child, like every human being, has a limit.

THEIR limit, not OUR limit!

Coach Gianni
Posted on 21 Oct 2005 by coachgianni
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