A common question I receive from youth sports parents is why some kids who display above-average athletic skills seem to struggle with focus and motivation. Of course, there are many reasons why this may occur, but one reason that is usually overlooked is the interest level the kid has in playing sports. In other words, some kids are good at sports, but simply don’t love playing them!
Admittedly, it’s difficult to accept that a talented young athlete might have little (if any) interest in playing a particular sport, but this actually happens more than you might believe. Kids who are especially good at a sport, yet are indifferent about playing that sport, seem to present the most frustration for parents. The faulty assumption some parents make, unfortunately, is that if the kid is good at playing sports, he must also love playing sports.
There are a number of reasons why an otherwise athletically talented kid might not like playing sports, including the following:
- For some, it simply doesn’t interest them – there’s nothing more to read into it than this.
- Some kids like playing games, but do not enjoy the commitment to practices, extra training, travel, and all the other responsibilities that often come with being an athlete – in fact, the child may even be experiencing sports burnout.
- Some kids feel as though the time commitment with sports take away time they might have devoted to other things, like academics, other activities, and social endeavors.
- Some kids don’t “connect” with their sports friends, and would rather spend their time with their friends who might not be involved in sports.
- Some kids do not enjoy all the intensity around sports these days – in other words, they like playing the sport, but don’t like how it feels like a job to them because of all the outside expectations by others.
Kids who don’t enjoy playing sports (even if they are good at them) are not good or bad, right or wrong. Just like how we as adults like to do some things and don’t like others, kids are the same — and in some cases kids show a natural talent toward something, yet have little interest in the activity.
Of course, a little parental coaxing to get a kid to have more fun playing a sport isn’t a bad thing, but be careful to not push too hard, or to continue signing your kid up for sports if it’s clear he doesn’t want to play. While it might not be the easiest thing to do, it’s almost always a better move to work with your child on future decisions rather than continue pushing him because he has an above-average athletic talent.
Sport Success 360 is a great tool to use when helping provide your child with the best sports experience possible – pick up your copy today!