I couldn’t let you all think things stayed so scary and gloomy for us and our relationship with high school sport participation, so here is an update.
What happened? ? ?
We got a new coach for the team!
All. The. Difference. In. The. World.
So, if you have a child who loves sports and would like to participate in their local high school, I think my best advice is: 1) to vet the coach as best you can 2) to speak up as often as your gut tells you to and 3) to have perseverance and be willing to take things up a notch (get seriously involved) to make it work for you.
We joined the Boosters. We took leadership roles. We spoke up and we spoke to those in the highest authority. All of that seemed to help get us to what looks like a promising and positive experience with the local public school’s sports program for the coming year. The single most important change was in the team’s leadership – the coach.
I bet it seems ridiculous to some parents of non-sportys kids, but for the others I know you’ll understand what it means to contemplate not participating. Hope this conversation and the other 2 threads on the topic are helpful. I found it super stressful to go through but maybe that was just me?! Who knows.missceegeeParticipant
Claire, this is encouraging! Our 14 year old is going to try baseball and golf at the local high school this coming year. My husband met with the coach and is impressed. I’ve been debating how involved I should be. I’m going to try to help out while balancing the other kids, too. I couldn’t imagine our kid not playing, but I did have my concerns. It’s such a part of who he is that I envision him wanting some part of baseball even as an adult.TristanParticipant
So glad you updated us and glad to hear you’ve made a good experience out of it all!ClaireParticipant
Yes, Christie, I totally know where you are coming from with an athletic kid who has found a sport he’s passionate about.
We did meet with the previous coach and we thought we had a good take on the team, the atmosphere, etc. However, we were so wrong!
Don’t underestimate the exposure your son will get on a high school team. They routinely talk about things I consider totally not age appropriate. Drugs, sex and alcohol binging is rampant even among elite athletic teams at the best schools. It was good to have frank conversations. It was healthy for us to find a way/balance between their world and ours but it just never stops. Each new issue, new situation requires us to delve deeper. I found it super intense as a mom. I have never felt such angst and frustration at not being able to protect my son and control the situation. My husband was great at trying to lighten me up by insisting that our son had a great foundation and could withstand this but I was in momma bear mode most of the season. I wanted things to be about the sport, the game and nothing else. I don’t think that’s entirely possible.
Coaches who are organized and coaching in order to win will often be better than those that have a job coaching. The boys tend to be physically so busy under a good coach that there is less time for idle chit chat and whatever.
I don’t know … honestly, the whole experience challenges me still. I want my children to have a childhood and face these adult things when they are older and have had a full, strong foundation. I felt robbed when we played high school sports last year. I kept thinking – this is why I don’t send them to school – yet there we were, fully exposed and dealing with a ton of junk!
I am prayerfully hopeful (as in my OP) about this new season.missceegeeParticipant
DS14 has played travel ball for 2.5 years. He’s already exposed to some of the ugly you mention and conversations happen frequently. I expect that to intensify playing for the high school. Fortunately, I do know several of the families at this school and that helps a teeny bit. But I know more and more garbage is to come. However, college has had its own garbage for my oldest. It’s all part of helping them be in the world and not of the world. Prayers for all!
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