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Should My Son Quit Or Risk Loss Of Enjoyment And Confidence?

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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.

"My 12-year-old son over-achieved his way onto a very good All-Star team, whose other 12 players are just as skilled and bigger, stronger and a little older. He only plays one or two innings per game, and he puts up a brave front, but we know he's lost his confidence. Should we pull him from the team or try to ride out the rest of the season? We don't want to advocate quitting, but are concerned his confidence and enjoyment of the game will continue to deteriorate. Suggestions?"

PCA Response By Mike Farley, PCA Trainer-Milwaukee
Making the All-Star team is a big deal for any athlete, but finding out that you're not the star of THAT team is a truth that can hurt. Even Major League Baseball players face that reality. Most have been stars on all of their teams. Facing that at age 12 is tough, but provides the opportunity for a great life lesson.

Your son has two choices, and he just needs to honestly be comfortable with the one he chooses: A) Baseball is no fun at this level and he should either play in a less competitive environment or pick up a new sport; or B) Being on the All-Star team is a big honor and he can accept and benefit from playing any role.

If he chooses "A," he still should stick out the season. That may buy enough time for him to realize more of his potential or to fully recognize his weaknesses as a ballplayer. Only in rare cases (i.e., inconsolable grief, not just annoyance or frustration) would I allow a child to quit during the season.

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