The End of an Era: When Your Child Abandons Her Sport
By Sports Girls Play on January 17, 2012
(Editor's Note: Been there. Done that. It wasn't gymnastics for me. It was soccer. And for years all of my free time was devoted to chauffering, coaching and cheering two daughters who were inevitably playing games on opposite ends of town. Good times that I miss immensely but as Girls Play Sports guest blogger Laura Amann writes, "This is the fine line that we must walk as parents: when to encourage them [our children] to keep going over a bump in the road, and when to guide them to another path." ~js)
My days of gymnastics are over. So are my long hours at the gym. My nervousness and anxiety. It’s all in the past. No more ponytails woven with ribbons, no more glitter spray, no more bleacher analysis. My daughter has left the sport.
For years, Caroline competed on a gymnastics team and she adored everything about it. Four days a week, we drove the ½ hour back and forth to the gym so that she could practice 15 hours a week, year-round. I volunteered, I chatted with the parents, I watched and learned and bit my nails. The parents became my friends, the meets became a social time.
Eventually after three years of this schedule, the complaints began: the coaches were too hard, she had a headache, she was tired, she had too much homework. Her message read loud and clear: she was burnt out at the age of 11.