You can’t make every team or have all the experiences. My daughter has practiced her sport for a solid two years. She has played in middle school, attended camps, had private lessons, and played for clubs. Yesterday, after grueling tryouts, she found out she didn’t make the freshmen team. The school and the pool of girls this year is very competitive. She says she’s good, happy the pressure is off. Still, my mind in swirling with the next steps. What to do? She wants to play club again, but without a practice and games, she will lose her momentum. She has three months to wait while the others will be playing nonstop, putting her further behind.
Trying to be a supportive parent without intertwining my life with hers can be difficult. While I wasn’t excited about daily practice runs or weekends filled with tournaments, I’m sad about the interactions I’ll miss with the mothers of the other girls and the experiences my daughter could have had, but won’t. Reconciling my own emotions with the situation is tough. I want to fix it. I want to put an immediate plan in place to help her achieve her goals. Realizing her goals are more about the friendships and fun, over actually mastering the sport, I step back. Volleyball is one of her vehicles to a social experience. She plays primarily for that reason. Understanding this and being satisfied that this is enough is hard.
As a parent my goals and my child’s goals differ. When they are young, we can push our agenda onto them. I’m certainly guilty of this behavior. As they grow older, they begin to determine what’s best for them. I am still here to offer suggestions. Guiding and directing, as needed, but no longer being the decision maker, is my next step.
High school starts this year. It is a new era to test out different paths. My path is to let my daughter figure out her life, supporting her more in the background. Her path is her path. I’ll let her decide on that.
Susan J. McFarland
August 10, 2018
Susan J. McFarland