Sports moms - am I asking too much?
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 1/28/2013 by jennifw in NSBR Board
 

jennifw
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Posted: 1/28/2013 5:57:36 PM
DD is almost 12. This is her first year on a club/competitive volleyball team. She improves every day and is leaps beyond where she was at the beginning of the summer.

That said, she still has a hard time with her overhand serve. It is not consistent enough and she doesn't hit the ball hard enough. I know a lot of it is just reps - hit the ball 100-million times and you get better. But, she is not yet 12 and has a million excuses - my toss wasn't high enough, I felt crowded, whatever.

We carpool with 2 other girls so going early isn't really an option. I offered to take her seperately this week so we can go early. She could still ride home with her friends after practice but I feel like she needs to get the reps in. Just doing the 15 serves (or whatever) in practice isn't enough to improve.

She declined my offer to go early. She said "what about tomorrow"
"what about Wednesday" My plan was for her to go every day this week and get atleast 15-20 minutes of extra practice. Now, I am mad. She just wants to ride with her friends because they have fun playing on their phones in the car.

Tonight, I didn't let her take her phone with her. I told her that it was a treat and a privilege to have a phone and if she didn't want to work hard to be the best, she hadn't earned it today.

Am I handling that okay? What is the consequence of her not getting in extra practice this week? Does she lose her phone? At this point, with no extra practice, I expect every serve to be perfect. (She has a tournament this weekend) Am I asking too much if she isn't willing to put in the extra effort?

Darcy_Collins
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:20:43 PM
Yes. She's 12 and it's entirely possible that volleyball will never be more than an activity that lets her goof around with her friends. If SHE wants to improve, you can arrange extra practice. If she wants to be a mediocre player and not make the top squad that's her prerogative.

I seriously don't get the idea that every kid has to be great at everything and pressuring them to do extra practice.

- signed mother of a very mediocre soccer player who finally told me she really wanted to be a ballerina.

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Jennscraps
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:22:21 PM
Does her coach want her to have extra practice time, or is this something you are implementing? You said she is improving by leaps and bounds already, so why are you punishing her because there is one area that she still needs to improve in? If she really needs extra practice with serving the volley, could you let her practice at home so she can still carpool with her friends?

It may be semantics, but I never, ever, ever tell my kids I expect them to be "the" best. They are part of a team, and every player on the team has strengths and weaknesses. I tell my kids to be "their" best.... because when every kid on a team is being their best, that team is generally unstoppable.

I don't think you are asking too much by asking her to put in some extra practive if it really is warranted, but I do think you are asking too much by expecting every serve to be perfect, esp in her first year on the team. Has she ever played sports before?


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elaine226
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:35:30 PM
Do you want her to have fun or not?
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jennifw
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:39:20 PM

I expect every serve to be perfect.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes. Yes, you are expecting too much.


I guess I wrote that wrong. I am saying that if she doesn't think she needs the extra practice, I expect every ball to atleast make it over the net. If she has an excuse as to why the ones at pratice aren't consistently good, she needs to show me that she can do it, since that is what she thinks. ("Oh, its just practice. I can do it in the game.."

Coach commented that was the one thing she wanted DD to work on. DD is on a national team and chose to play at this level. If she wanted to play rec league, we could do it, but playing on a national team is what she wanted to do. Even if it isn't a "forever" sport this is where she is now and being able to serve is part of it. I don't want her to practice like she is going to the Olympics, but work hard enough to be in the game.

jennifw
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:41:09 PM

Do you want her to have fun or not?


Yes, but I don't like seeing her cry because they lose. If she gives 100% then losing isn't bad, but crying because you know you could have worked harder isn't fun. Maybe that is the lesson she needs to learn.

mdoc
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:43:02 PM
It sounds like volleyball (or at least excelling at volleyball) is more important to you than it is to her. Why is she playing? Is it for fun? Is she the one that wanted to do club/competitive, as opposed to a recreational league? I probably wouldn't push her to do extra practice (unless the coach has requested it)or take her phone, but if you're not willing to pay for club volleyball if she isn't willing to work hard at it, tell her that so she's not surprised if she's not playing next year.

FWIW, if it's anything like the club teams around here, if the team actually loses because of her serve, you won't have to say a word - peer pressure will come into play.

Kelli/Mom
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:44:10 PM
SHE has to want to practice and improve.

That being said, the extra time in the gym may or may not help her. If she just practices doing serves wrong, then repetition won't do anything to make her serve better. Will a coach be there to help her?

The gym isn't the only place to practice I remember hitting the volleyball against the brick wall on the outside of the elementary school when I was younger. Even without a net, I could practice getting the right amount of power into it and placement. Is there a high school player who you could pay to mentor her?

It could be, too, that she just isn't developmentally ready to serve the ball with the kind of power and consistency you would like. Think in terms of swimming ... you could give a preschool kid swimming lessons every day, and that kid may or may not learn to swim. You could spend two hours a day in the pool with a twelve-year old trying to learn the butterfly, and that kid may or may not be able to do it.

Yes, I think taking her phone away because she doesn't want extra volleyball practice is harsh. The two aren't related. It sounds like she is fulfilling her obligation to the team, even if every serve is not an ace.

It sounds like (without knowing you or your daughter or the relationship dynamics) that it is time to back off or maybe find a different way to help her.

mom2cameron
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:49:17 PM
She has to want it. My DD plays basketball and was struggling with free throws. When a game was on the line and missed her free throws was just enough to make her shoot 30 free throws a day after 2 hours of practice.


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gryroagain
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:51:04 PM
IMO, yes, you are asking too much.

Nothing wrong with offering help (driving early so she can practice, etc) but SHE has to want it. If she is okay being mediocre, well- it's on her, really. You can offer to help, but punishing or forcing will quickly suck the fun out of anything.

Don't do it!

Let her have fun with her friends, and if she wants to get more serious, be open to helping. That's all you can do.

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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:52:25 PM
IMO if she doesn't want to do it she will very soon resent it if forced to.

At 12 she is old to figure out if she wants to be better she needs to practice. Maybe if you leave it alone she will come to the realization herself and then she will be doing it for herself and not you.

Signed the mom of a naturally talented hockey player who plays house league because he is not willing to put in the effort to be a rep player. He is only 9 though so i still have hope LOL My less natutrally gifted dd (13) does play rep but really really works at it so I guess it depends on the kids personality


Kelli


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alisam
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:41:05 PM
Can you get her one of these ? Then she can practice at home for a set number of minutes a day or hours a week. It's more convenient then hitting it against an outside wall and having to chase the ball, or breaking the lights on the house ....ask me how I know! LOL!

Alisa

Fuji
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:59:40 PM
My dd and ds are both athletes. DD (17) goes to practice and works hard while she's there but would never, ever consider staying late or going in early to improve on an area. She could have been a top-notch (by our school's standards) athlete but chose not to put in the extra effort.

DS (14), on the other had, is the last to leave practice, convinces his dad to spend time practicing with him, asks the coach for advice, and spends HOURS of his own time practicing in the summer. He was just moved up to a higher team and was told he would be starting tomorrow. He's thrilled because that is what he's working toward. He has the motivation to make it happen

I understand your perspective because I really wanted my DD to do the extras to get her ahead in volleyball. I love the game and wanted her to be the best on the court.

However, she didn't care, and ultimately, I couldn't care about it more than she did. It sounds like a lesson will be learned here. There will consequences to her actions/inactions. She has to figure that out herself...as annoying/frustrating/painful as it is to watch it happen.

Really Red
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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:19:48 PM
Mom of 2 VB players here. You're paying for club ball and I absolutely agree you have to expect more out of your child than if she was playing rec.

I don't think all the posters understand what a commitment club ball is compared to rec. I'd never push my kid if it were rec, but I'd have certain expectations if I were paying club ball. You have to drive her and go to tournaments and the like. And yes, she should be serving overhand and it IS a matter of practice only.

I always let my kids make their own choices about sports, but I always tell them that club sports practices are NOT voluntary and complaining is not acceptable. My son plays rec basketball. He takes his level of commitment to that as well. I do not hold him to that for rec.

Is the answer taking away her phone? For my kids it wouldn't be, but you're her mom and you know best. I'd make it clear that I am paying for her to get better and she needs to work on her serves or you're not paying for another year again.

All that said, 11yo is YOUNG for VB. Some sports you need to play club early, but VB is not one of them. Some girls mature at different levels and someone who can serve OH at 11 is probably a pretty powerful child (or one who practices a lot!). One of my DDs has a to-die-for spectacular serve. She didn't have it until 13yo and before that she was a fine server, but not great. My other DD is a good server, but not outstanding. Basically, you're looking for a LOT of power in a serve. Better to have more power and miss because when you do get it in, you kill!

I'd clarify my expectations with my child, but I probably wouldn't take away anything unless it was paying for club sports next year because she didn't put the extra effort in this year.


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Fuji
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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:32:18 PM

I don't think all the posters understand what a commitment club ball is compared to rec.


I understand what club ball is as my DD played it as well. We spent many hours and dollars on the sport. My answer is still the same. As long as she is working hard at practice and willing to go, I wouldn't push it. She could end up resenting the sport and/or Mom.

And I totally agree that 11 is pretty young to be expecting perfection for an OH serve. Of course, lots of girls do, but she just may not have the upper-body strength.

Super Soda
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Posted: 1/28/2013 9:50:20 PM
I think your expectations are too high--even for a club player-- although I don't think extra practice is unreasonable.

My 11 y.o. DD is in a developmental league that is a feeder for the club teams. I have only seen one or two girls in the entire league who can consistently make OH serves. Even the very best players on the team tend to fall back on their underhand serves. I think perfection with every serve is a lot to ask of an 11 y.o. How many professional athletes miss the mark sometimes?

Darcy_Collins
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Posted: 1/28/2013 9:53:41 PM
My son plays hockey - I can say that hockey parents bring a unique breed of crazy to kids sports. If your expectation is that in order to play club volleyball her serve has to be perfect or she's needs to spend hours outside of practice perfecting it - or you're mad - you're priorities are seriously out of wack.

Take a step back - it's her first year - she needs to figure out whether she has the talent and/or determination to take it to the next level. You harping on her is utterly counter productive.

I can't tell you the number of fabulously skilled 7 and 8 year olds who burn out of hockey before they're even old enough for full ice. But when Mom and Dad are taking you to 5 am extra practices so that they can work on those "missing skills" - it's not too shocking.

Ultimately if her skills aren't sufficient, she'll find out quick enough - some kids need to learn the hard way.


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Posted: 1/28/2013 10:31:22 PM
While I agree you should insist that your child fulfill her commitment to the club/select/elite team (e.g. punctual attendance at all practices & games; learn plays), new participants face increased demands - time, physical, mental - compared to rec ball. IMHO she should be given time to navigate the hectic schedule, new teammates, advanced game, better competition, travel, etc. It can prove stressful for a 12 y.o. without parents adding unreasonable expectations. My suggestion is to simply support her, give her the opportunity to adjust, then she can decide whether she's interested in playing the sport at this level. HTH.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 10:59:36 PM
Hmm, sounds like you're really invested in her volleyball. Maybe a lot more than she is.
Don't push. If she's not ready to put in the extra time then don't make her.
If she likes the sport shell come around.
If she's not all that into it, then have her finish out the season and have her find another sport.



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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:00:50 PM



IMO, yes, you are asking too much.

Nothing wrong with offering help (driving early so she can practice, etc) but SHE has to want it. If she is okay being mediocre, well- it's on her, really. You can offer to help, but punishing or forcing will quickly suck the fun out of anything.

Don't do it!

Let her have fun with her friends, and if she wants to get more serious, be open to helping. That's all you can do.



^^^^Every word of what gryroagain said.

And yes, I "get" what a commitment club ball is compared to rec.
Been there, driven to that.

If you want her to hate volleyball, continue what you're doing.


It's tough to find the right balance, this parenting thing is tricky.
Hang in there!


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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:07:04 AM
I know lots of kids in club ball (soccer) who have parents like you. They are constantly at fields making their kids rack up the number of touches. Back off a little before you burn her out completely and/or she begins to hate the sport because it's a constant source of nagging. The reality is the best players, quite honestly, are intrinsically driven and supported in that drive.

Not sure what kind of national team she's on at 12, let alone one that rosters players who can't serve overhand, regardless, she's 12. Half her teammates don't even have their periods yet. Perspective is a good thing.

I would never punish my kid for not wanting what I want. It's so tragic to see the relationships between kids being pushed and their unrealistic parents. It's so uncomfortable and sad. I see it all the time. Do you want her memories to be ones of fun or ones that recollect you as being a nag, making her feel bad about herself and sucking the fun out of an extra-curricular activity? Let her be a kid who has fun with her friends while she exercises and learns the value of teamwork and good health.


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MerryMom937
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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:03:50 AM
sigh--Oh dear.

To answer your question, "Am I asking too much?"

Yes you are.

If your daughter wants to improve her serve, you have let her know that you can drive her earlier a couple of times a week IF SHE WANTS THE EXTRA PRACTICE.

(unlock caps)

If she doesn't, then her game will be at the level it is now. If she is fine with that, then it is her decision.

Were you "perfect" at everything you did when you were 12? Did you always "work hard to be the best" in everything you did at age 12?

If given a choice to be social with your friends vs. mommy driving me early to practice so that I can practice my serve, at age 12, what would have been your choice?

So Mom, you stated that she has improved each day and is "leaps beyond" where she started, so mom, you need to unclench and let her COACH coach her. Your job as a mother, is to cheer your daughter and her team.

ETA:

Yes, but I don't like seeing her cry because they lose. If she gives 100% then losing isn't bad, but crying because you know you could have worked harder isn't fun. Maybe that is the lesson she needs to learn.


Learning how to handle not winning a game is part of sports. Just the same as learning how to win gracefully is part of the game.

People cry when disappointed, it's a part of life.

Let her make the connection between her effort (or lack of) and whether it had an impact on the team's loss. Trust me, her coach and her teammates will help in that regard.

Let her learn how to handle a team loss when she has made a mistake or missed a serve.

I mean, even Olympic athletes miss serves, miss points etc.

Please don't turn into one of "those parents".

writermom1
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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:57:42 AM
I understand completely the temptation but yes, you are.

You come at it out of love though. I know the feeling.




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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:03:27 PM

I expect every serve to be perfect.



Yes. Yes, you are expecting too much.




Oh, my. I agree. You are expecting too much.

First, there is no such thing as perfection. Second, for there to be anything even close to it, there has to be desire. Third, that desire has to be hers...not yours. Because if it's not, no matter how many days a week she practices, nor how many repetitive serves she makes, she won't get better...she'll only get resentful.

And if she shows promise, this is the age where pushing so hard can really ruin the dream. If she pushes so hard now, by the time it matters, she'll be so tired of it, she won't want to play at all.



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Tuva42
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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:14:59 PM
This is HER sport. It has to be HER commitment. If you told her at the outset that you would expect her to put in extra time practicing if she didn't meet certain goals, then yes, take away the phone. But punishing her for not having your level of commitment seems wrong to me. She's not breaking any rules. I say back off.


Laurie

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Posted: 1/29/2013 1:41:31 PM
I am a sports mom too so I feel your pain, but can't make the improvement til she wants it herself. In this case I would leave it to her to figure this out. Life lessons on their own are half the benefit of playing sports after all.


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