Playing competitive sports, ANY competitive sport, is a huge commitment of time and money. Sometimes I find it is hard to keep things in perspective and get some balance in life. This is especially difficult when your child plays two competitive sports. Like my son – hockey in the winter and soccer pretty much all year. At times I feel like a slave to the schedule. To be honest, most of the time my son’s coaches have more say in what we do and when than we do.
Depending on the level of competition and the coach and team philosophy there may be no wiggle room. You want to be on the team? Sign your freedom on the dotted line. You vacation only when approved by the team, you arrive well before each game and practice and attendance is never optional. This is the extreme but most teams have a threshold and your child’s commitment is expected. This makes sense, of course. There are not only plenty of other kids fighting for a spot on a good team but a team won’t be very good if the players don’t commit. It is the nature of this beast and a choice we have made.
But sometimes you make exceptions. Yes, you may end up suffering the consequences and your child’s play time may be impacted or, worse, they may risk their spot on the team. But, in my opinion, there are times when the needs of your family take precedent. For example, our recent trip to Florida meant my son missed soccer. He had already missed his “quota” but we decided, as a family (yes, we spoke to him about the potential consequences of the decision) that we needed this time together. So we picked a time when there were no games scheduled, only practices, and we went.
And every chance we got this is what he did: