When your child says they want to quit a sports commitment, you’re facing a complicated decision. When you have lots of money and month/years invested in supporting them, it’s hard to be ok with letting them just give up. We want our kids to be happy but we also want to teach them not to give up so easily. Many things in life are difficult but if we don’t stick with them and keep trying, we can’t expect doing them to get any easier. You have to try to understand why your son wants to quit football, then help him arrive at the best decision for him.
Find Out If Football Is Too Much For Him
Even if you try your best to prepare your child for the ups and downs of playing sports, they might not enjoy it as much as they thought they would.
Playing casual games of football in the park with friends and family is a lot different than playing on a team. You can’t anticipate how they will feel once they get there. There’s a difference between just not liking a sport anymore and being discouraged by self-doubt, bullying from classmates, or overbearing coaches.
There are lots of reasons kids decide to quit sports. You have to get to the root of the issue and determine what is making your son change his mind about football.
Kids develop new interests as they get older and other commitments begin to take up more chunks of their spare time. Eventually, the hours in the day run out so we are forced to choose what we have time for.
Your son might prioritize hanging out with a friend or getting a part-time job over playing football. Kids can also get burned out on certain things just like adults do.
Football requires a lot of hard work and commitment. Players have to work hard for field time and wins. It’s a tough sport but it can help your child build strength, determination, and perseverance.
Sometimes kids just get weary of all of the physical and mental stress that can come with being in football. There is always pressure on players to be faster and play better. That can take away some of the excitement over time.
He asked to do this and you want to see him finish what he starts, but at what cost? Injuries and fatigue can also become a factor. If your son is having emotional issues related to football, this might be deeper than you think. High stress and imbalance can be overwhelming enough to cause mental health issues.
Why Does Your Son Want to Quit Footabll
Ultimately you must help your son assess what the benefits and pitfalls of playing football are for him as an individual. Engage him and have a conversation about the situation. There might be many reasons why your son wants to quit football.
You may find it’s not the football that he’s trying to get away from. He might feel like he has too much on his schedule to keep up with all of his practices, homework, studying, and games.
Thinking about what’s going on with the football team could be breaking his focus on studying. Your child’s education should always take priority over sports participation.
All coaches have a different approach and personality. Your son may not be a good fit with his coach and there’s not much we can do about that. We have to learn to deal with difficult people in life, not everyone is warm and friendly.
A stern, loud coach is pretty normal but certain lines shouldn’t be crossed. Your son’s coach may be overbearing, or intimidating, it could make him feel uncomfortable. If a coach is using abusive language with your son or pushing him around, he shouldn’t have to put up with feeling attacked. You never know what’s happening at practice if you’re not there.
Participating in organized sports is supposed to be fun. If your son isn’t having any fun, football might not seem worth all the work.
If he is working hard in practice and not getting much playing time, he could be getting increasingly frustrated. See if there’s anything you can do to encourage him to stick with it a little longer or maybe take a break.
Remind him that missing a year of football could hurt his chances for advancement in the future. If he wants to get more playing time and be respected by his teammates, he should try to finish his season.
Football Might Not Be The Best Sport For Him
Sometimes older or varsity players bully or razz the younger groups. They try to make them pay their dues and earn their jerseys. Transitioning from junior to varsity levels can be stressful as well.
Being in a position where you are facing tough workouts and intense scrutiny is difficult. Trying to secure a spot on the football team requires more than just showing up. The pain, sweat, and inconveniences are all hard to get through but overcoming these struggles can help him develop character and mental strength.
By next year he could be playing in every game. If not, there are lots of other ways to help him build strength and character.
Playing football should be for your son, not you. Ask yourself whether he was playing football to make himself happy or just to please you. You can encourage him to manage his commitment to the team but it’s his life, not yours.
Children develop their own likes and interests that are not in line with what their parents prefer but we have to learn to accept that sooner or later. Try to understand his reasoning before you formulate an opinion and let him know that you will trust his decision.
Try limiting your son to just one sport per season so he doesn’t overwhelm himself with overlaps and lack of free time.
Everyone needs time to relax. He might need to cut back or eliminate some things from his schedule to stay balanced. If he does end up quitting sports, let him know that he will still be expected to stay active and be reasonable with his screen time. He could replace football with a physical activity that he enjoys.
Questions to Ask To Help Him Reach A Decision
1. Is football fun for him?
If your son wants to quit football because he became bored or burned out, see if he wants to take a break first before actually commenting to quiting. Playing sports should be a fun and enjoyable activity so having that fun fade away is normal and happens to many people.
Understanding that as a parent is important.
2. Does he get playing time on game day?
When a player works hard all week in practice and sits on the bench during the game, it can become very frustrating. Part of the reason that many people quit sports is because they are sidelined even though they put in effort in practice to prove themselves.
If your son has not been getting time on the field, him using his time on something that actually satisfies him would be the best option.
3. Do adults and family get over-involved and spoil his experience?
If teachers and family members are constantly talking about football, giving advice, or pointing out the constant mistakes, it can become frustrating. Someone constantly telling you about your performance can take a toll on you mentally and make you want to quit the activity overall.
4. Is he making a lot of mistakes?
Your son might be afraid that he isn’t skilled enough to be on the team. He might feel like his performance is disappointing his coach, teammates, or you. This can often happen when mistakes in a game keep happening.
if that is the case, remind him that many greats have had lots of failures. It’s all part of going through the journey. As long as there is a lesson being learned, there shouldn’t be any worry.
5. Is he being bullied or abused by his teammates?
There are many cases where players on a team have faced bullying and it is not a great feeling. Your son shouldn’t be afraid or depressed because of football.
If bullying or abuse is occurring during the time he participates in the sport, talking with the coach and letting him know is important. The coach should be aware that there is such a thing going on and it needs to stop.
6. Is his health or social life suffering?
If injuries or mental health issues are affecting your son in a bad way, it is not worth the pain he is going through to continue.
If he has no time to do anything fun or hang out with friends, football may not be an activity to continue playing.
7. Are his grades declining?
Education comes first. If grades are slipping, homework is more important than football practice. Don’t let time devoted to football impact his ability to learn. As much as the game can be fun, making sure education comes first is key.
8. Does he get reprimanded more than encouraged?
If your son is always told when he’s performing badly and never gets a pat on the back, he might be discouraged or feel inferior. Always make sure that he is being encouraged and supported even on his off days.
The more support he has playing, the more he will enjoy the sport.
Final Thoughts – Son Wants To Quit Football
If your son says he wants to quit football, approach the matter carefully.
Reassure him that you will be proud of him whether he plays football or not. Kids have a lot on their plates and football can become overwhelming. Have a discussion with him about why he really wants to quit while also giving him your opinion and guidance.
Ultimately, you should let him make the decision. If your child has a legitimate reason to quit, respect his decision. Whether he decides to keep trying or stop playing, always be supportive.