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How to gently tell dd that she is no athlete..

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   OK so my dd who is 12 wanted to sign up for softball this year. There were no tryouts or anything just show up to open gym. She is very clumsy and I saw other girls laughing at her. I don't want to tell her to quit because she seems to like it. She is not good at athletics and does not know any of the girls there. Hoe do I break it to her? Let her find out the hard way? Advice please!

by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM
Replies (11-19):
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 9:54 AM
1 mom liked this

I know exactly what you are feeling.  Our oldest is a brilliant child, but not an athlete, yet he loves sports and loves being part of a team.  We keep thinking that this will be the last year of baseball and then he decides he wants to again.  He will be 12 next month.  We practice with him all the time, have sent him to camps, etc...  he just has not caught on.  As parents, we see the other kids groan when he goes up to bat, etc..., but he has never seemed to notice.  He even tried out for a select team last year and was a little disappointed when he didn't make it, but not shattered.  We have decided to just let it play itself out.  And you know, he has started to develop some athletic skills within the last year or so and a new confidence in himself with athletics.  Our culture gets so caught up on kids having their sport picked out at such a young age (and our youngest has been a great soccer player since a young age, so  have one that is a good athlete too), but some kids do not develop the muscles and coordination to perform at high levels until closer to the teenage years.   If you talk to our parents and grandparents there were few teams in sorts until high school and while some kids do develop the abilities at a younger age not all do.  So, love and support your daughter, encourage her to practice and to have fun as part of a team -- there is a lot more to sports than athleti ability and, who know, maybe she will develop more skills through time.

by Member on Mar. 14, 2013 at 9:57 AM

So long that she likes it, it doesn't matter if she isn't good. A team is made up of all abilities. If she can be a team player, then she is good enough. JMO. Once it isn't fun anymore, then she should stop.

by Valeri on Mar. 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM
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It's not about being's about her enjoying herself playing the sport.  Now, if it was members of her team that is laughing at her, I would discuss this with the coach and make sure she/he is aware of this and to do something about it.

Every year, I have girls that have never played before.  This year I have 3 girls out of 11.  It's pretty difficult but I create small goals for them that are skill level so even the less skilled/experienced girls will feel success.

by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

If she's enjoying it, what's the problem? It will be a matter of tryouts eventually, and maybe she'll develop her skills to the point where she actually does well. 

by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM
Softball is probably the best sport for her to play on. It's a team sport but it is kind of an individual game too. Her lacking in the skills won't keep her from playing, opposed to being in basketball and sitting on the bench all day. My DD's team had a girl on it last year that would NOT swing at anything. We often wondered why she played because she would seriously just stand there. The coaches just kept encouraging her to try and the teammates still cheered her on when she got up to bat and then the last few games of the season she started swinging and she would CLOCK that ball! I was so proud of her I wanted to cry and she wasn't even my daughter! You could be amazed!
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by Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Don't say anything, my dd was 7 when she started playing and was not very good, but she liked it, so we signed her up for some clinics the following summer, she played again the next year, made the all star team, they won district, placed 3rd in the state and she is now on a travel softball team playing 2nd base. She is an awesome player. Just work with her, as long as she is having fun

by Member on Mar. 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Rather than not giving her a chance, grab a glove, get outside and practice with her.  Skills don't magically appear. They take time and effort.  Why write her off before she has even had the chance?

by Valeri on Mar. 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Quoting Roo1234:

Rather than not giving her a chance, grab a glove, get outside and practice with her.  Skills don't magically appear. They take time and effort.  Why write her off before she has even had the chance?

I agree!!!!  I tell my parents that the only way they can improve is to continue doing what i'm teaching OUTSIDE of practices.  I encourage them to get a glove and just play catch (which is one of the best things all softball players can do to improve their catching skills so they can move on to other, more difficult skills).  I also have a "catch club" which means they get a patch as a member of the "catch club" to put on their visor when they reach 1000 cataches outside of practices.  This actually doesn't take long.   1/2 of my athletes already reached it and we are only in the 2nd week of the games and it has made a difference in their catching skills. 

Also, it involves the family in their improvement of their own daughters.

by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 12:36 AM

You don't break it to her at all.   It sucks, but in times like these some times we have to step back and step up at the same time.  Praise her effort and practice with her at home.  Make it clear though that if you sign up you can't quit mid-season.  Pick her up and dust her off if the other girls are mean to her and may be even have a team sleep over and get to know the girls too.  That was what my parents did for me and I will always love them for it.

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