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My Kid Acts Disinterested In Sports But Says She Loves It

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"I coach a varsity women's lacrosse team and I have a goalie who seems to not have any interest in playing. Her body language says that she is bored, she complains a lot about practically every aspect of the game, and she refuses to try and play on the field. It seems like her dad is pushing her to be a goalie, and throughout the entire season I have tried so many different tactics on how to get her to be interested in getting better. I've tried recording her so she can see how she looks in goal, I've tried heart to heart conversations, I've tried "tough love" and I've tried leaving her completely alone to try and see if she can help herself. She tells me she loves being a goalie but her body language and attitude tell a completely different story. The team is incredibly supportive of her and she likes the social part of practice, but she doesn't like anything else. Any suggestions on what to do?"

PCA Response by PCA Lead Trainer, Joe Terrasi

Thanks for the insightful and challenging question! I’ve had players like you describe and heard similar stories from many other coaches. I admire and endorse your “try everything” approach – this is great coaching.

Since I can’t divine whether she is there for her own reasons or her father’s (or a combination), we should proceed with the assumption that she has been honest that “she loves being a goalie.” Playing goalie in lacrosse (or in an sport with a goalie) presents some distinct mental and emotional challenges.

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