Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Youth Volleyball: Son Did Not Make the Cut

It hurts when you get cut when you are trying out for a team. You feel embarrassed. You feel sad. You feel like a loser. You question yourself on what you did wrong. You make excuses. You look for any reason that can justify the obvious injustice, perhaps it was an injury or politics or whatever.

On Sunday, my son, Nic, tried out for his school's volleyball team. Last year, he chose to play on the B team because he did not think that he could not commit to the A team and play 75 baseball games. Baseball was / is his main sport.

Nic found the B team to be completely frustrating. The season was summed up by one frustrated parent who yelled out during a game, "THE OBJECT OF THE GAME IS TO HIT THE BALL BEFORE IT HITS THE GROUND"

It turned out that Nic had very few conflicts between volleyball and baseball last year. Volleyball practice was held after school and baseball practices were in the evenings. Furthermore, volleyball games were typically played during the week, while most baseball games were on the weekends. As such, this year, my son decided to tryout for the A team with hopes of eventually being the team's setter.

I tried to talk him out of trying out for the team. I expressed my concern about being overscheduled. I suggested to him that he concentrate on baseball and play in a few junior PGA tournaments to prepare for the golf season. He listened and understood, but he wanted to play volleyball with his friends.

After the tryout, he was very confident that he would make the team. I was very confident that he would make it.

The list came out this morning before school started. My son was on the B team list. He did not make the  A team. He was embarrassed. He was sad. And he was dreading going to school and getting teased.

I had an empty feeling in my stomach. Do youth sports parents feel their kids pain or are they reliving pain from the past?

The Main Point

The felt the same way when I was cut from my HS baseball team as a 9th grader. Fortunately, when that door closed, another one opened. I started playing lacrosse. I believe that lacrosse changed my life. I took a beating every practice and game. It made me tougher. It challenged me to push myself and overcome fear. It prepared me for life.

Getting cut from the volleyball team just might turn out to be a life changing event for my son. Who knows.

Another good thing - My daughter is scheduled to play 60 basketball and soccer games between Mar 1 and August 8. My son is scheduled to play 60 baseball games between Mar 1 and Jul 15. We are not sure how we are going to do this, so it was somewhat of a relief that we do not have to fit volleyball into the schedule.


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