Basketball on the Edge – It’s Their Path, Not Yours

Ran into a real life dilemma this week that put me to the test and forced me to put my money where my mouth is. My 4th grade son is playing AAU basketball this spring. He is also playing Lacrosse for the first time. He really is enjoying lacrosse and I am happy that he is playing. However, this week his first game had to be rescheduled due to weather and it was moved to a night when we have basketball practice. Now we had a decision to make.

My son and I talked prior to him signing up for Lacrosse and he agreed that basketball would come first when there was a conflict. This was prior to him having ever played Lacrosse at all. When he found out the game had been moved he said that he wanted to go to the Lacrosse game and miss basketball practice. My immediate reaction was, “We made a commitment to basketball, Lacrosse is second. I think you should go to basketball practice.” I said this to him and his reaction was one of disappointment mixed with anger. Being a busy family, shortly after that brief conversation, we were all out the door to various practices.

As I had some time to think about what had just happened I began to realize that the decision to go to the Lacrosse game and miss basketball practice should be his. Lacrosse was his first game, it was our 12th basketball practice and he might even be able to make it back for half the practice. Although I would have preferred that he come to basketball practice, I had to accept and understand that the decision wasn’t about me, it was about my son. Later that night when I told him that the decision was his, he eagerly agreed that basketball games would continue to take precedent and that if this had not been the very first Lacrosse game he may have felt differently.

I constantly struggle with how much to push him and my daughters when it comes to sports in general, and basketball in particular. Since I preach all the time that true success in the game has to come from the child and not the parent, I had to put that philosophy into practice in this situation.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, remember that the journey belongs to your kids and not you, no matter how you may feel.

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