Putting in the work

Boo has loved volleyball since she started playing in about 2nd grade on the Y recreational teams. (She’s going into 7th)

We have about a million volleyballs around, vollyball shirts, shorts, printed volleyballs on this that and every other thing.

She likes to play volleyball.

We used to do 2 seasons per year at the Y rec league (backetball originally filling the off season, but it has long since been dropped.)

She now has played 3 years in the local competitive league, that’s more serious and doesn’t have the same sort of good sport rules the rec league has (for example, only allowing 5 points to be scored per server per turn)

We’ve done 2 weeks of volleyball per summer for the last 3 summers at the sports day camp, and this summer, in addition to those weeks, put her in a week of the camp put on by the state college’s volleyball team.

Boo talks about whether she wants to play on that team, or for another college in town.


She hates to practice.

I have to stay on her, and all but force her to go practice.

This summer, I decided to stop.

I decided it was time to stop pushing her…. time to let her decide on her own whether or not she really wants it. Time to stop being the bad guy.

I saw her practice twice this summer.

Her perfomance showed it.

She went from being an average player for that team (which, several of the girls also play on the travelling teams and such, so that’s not a bad thing…)

…to finishing the season being pretty clearly the weakest player on the team. The one the coach was always having to stay on. The one that the other girls move to compensate for. The one that spends the most time on the bench out of the team.

She expressed concern for being able to make the school team this fall…. and I mentioned to her that the big change is due to her not practicing all season…

But it fell on deaf ears. She feels I’m just picking on her by suggesting that her lack of effort could be causing her lack of desired progress.

I know she wants to be on the team… but if she doesn’t want it enough to motivate herself to go after it without having someone force her to, does she really want it that much?

How much do you push, and how much do you let them suffer the consequences of their own actions?

It’s a hard line to know where the balance is…. where to keep prodding them and where to back off…

She has at least a month before tryouts.

Will she get the point early enough, and care enough, to take the effort and do the work?

I really don’t know from this point.


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