One of the hardest things for parents and coaches to hear kids say is “I QUIT” especially, when the athlete’s desire to quit is sudden. So, what’s a parent to do?
This is a situation I have found myself in a few times, but most recently with my youngest daughter and swimming. I am actually glad I didn’t post about this as we were going through it as it all makes much more sense now that we have gotten past “I Quit” – at least this time.
In September when the fall swim season started, my daughter was pretty excited. She felt like the girls in her group were all her friends and she called them her “Dream Team,” and this being her second full season on the team she also started with a sense of confidence and knowing what to expect. Because my son is also swimming but in a different group, Nat gets to play with her friend before each practice as A’s sister in also in the other group. The two girls were too much fun to watch as they played, chatted and basically used that time as a transition between school and swim. I felt so relieved and was sure this year would be smooth sailing as Nat had so much to look forward to each practice.
And then she got sick. That nasty, fever raging, energy draining, in hindsight-most-likely-flu thing that took absolutely everything out of her.
She was out of school for a week. The following week when she returned to school I recommended that she go to practice. She immediately said “no” and really resisted the idea. (Clue #1 missed.) She ended up going to practice but really didn’t have her energy back which meant swimming was really hard, which equaled “really not fun” for her. That weekend there was a swim meet and she started telling me how much she hated swimming, didn’t want to compete, and wanted to QUIT.