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RealSupport
RealSupport, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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My 12 year old son is a great athlete. He loves to play the

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My 12 year old son is a great athlete. He loves to play the sport but only when he wants to. He is on a team and 1 minute he gives 100% and the next 50%. I asked him if he still wants to play and he says a definite yes. He is on an elite team and wants to go to prep school but if he doesn't give 100% all the time his dream won't happen. I can't seem to get him to connect the dots. If you don't play 100%then you cant go on to an elite level. We moved in 2012 so last year in school was hard, but this year has started well with school, grades and friends. I want him to have his dream but I can't get him to understand if he doesn't do his best then he won't be able to play next year.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know about your son's situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This seems very frustrating and concerning

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Is this the only area where you son is this inconsistent?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

How does your son feel about this issue?

Customer:

yes. school he is a good student not great, he has to work at school.

Customer:

but he is consistent in the he is a good student

Customer:

If we ask him if he gave 100% he will say no. He will cry about it. He seems to want to play. He was asked to play on a higher level team and practice with them and he always wants to go. and when he gets there he gives 100% but not on the team that is his team team

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Do you think expectations for achieving and keeping high performance could be a factor here pushing him?

Customer:

I don't quite understand your question.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If your son is a good student, has no significant problems around homework, socializing with friends and enjoy this sport, but still stops doesm't give his best when in the elite team, my first assumption is that he may feel pushes or too stressed by the expectations about keeping high performance, getting his results, which adds stress, leading him to present this lower performance

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It would be like his is self-sabotaging as a way not to experience overwhelming levels of stress because of the high performance expectations always present in the elite team.

Customer:

We have told him it is ok to not be on the elite team. We have put him on different teams and he always wants to play against the
"tougher teams" and trying to understand when he plays on other elite teams to help them out he always gives 100%. He doesn't on his own team. He has done this in the past also, not just recently. A coach a few years ago called him on it when he was in an all star game and was the star of the game, but when he played on his own team was middle of the pack.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Your son does not have any intellectual or learning problems, then he is well aware of what is expected and necessary, but still chooses not to give more than his %50, and that's why I think what could be going on here is the use of this defense as a way to avoid feeling pushed, with the extra responsibility it would imply.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, then it could make sense to believe the constant pressure to attain and keep the high performance could be the issue here, since he is very capable of giving his best and performing just very well, the issue is about consistency, and this is why I think it could be about the high expectations and responsibilities to attain and keep performance that high in his own team.

Customer:

So do we take him off the team, which I struggle with as someone else got cut from the team for him to be on it? The coach asked if he should bench him after his shift if he doesn't give 100% to see if the dots connect that way. Or do we take him off for a few games. All options he will cry about but if he doesn't give his all the team, coach kids don't want him there.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do believe that the wisest approach here would be for him no to play a few games in order to value and assess the demands, pros and cons it implies to be part of the team, and if he truly wants to get back, that he will have to commit to give his best. This way the team would not be undermined. I believe your son just needs to mature a little more, become more resilient and self-confident, knowing hot to handle stress.

Customer:

Thank you for your thoughts. It is appreciated.

Customer:

one other thing, would you have him go tot he game and sit on the bench, as part of the team, and not play, or not go at all?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If he feels comfortable with it, sure that would help him.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Remember that this seems to be about having a hard time coping with stress-anxiety, thus anything that could help him feel more at easy and enjoy it, would help. He needs to learn that he could give his best, XXXXX XXXXX while enjoying things and dealing with a certain level stress always present in every competitive activity.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome.

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