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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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You helped us immensely the last time! Question...we have a

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You helped us immensely the last time! Question...we have a 5 year old who is clearly a talented athlete. He hates to lose and is faster than our 7 and 9 year old. He is a hero in the backyard, but no interest in playing organized sports. Although we constantly give encouragement we don't know how much to push or back off. We have 6 Saturdays left and he did not enjoy the 2 weeks so far although he is scoring goals. Advice?
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. I would be more than happy to assist you today.

I have a few questions to help me better understand the situation.

Is your son playing soccer?
Does he practice off the field?
Does he seem to enjoy his sport equally at home and on the field?
How long has he played?
How does he behave when he loses in other situations?
What other sports or activities does he excel in?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Yes he plays soccer now on Saturday mornings.

Practice(no drills, but we play for fun once in a while in the backyard. He enjoys it.) More fun at home when he is playing with "daddy".

This is the 2nd year he is playing. He did not like playing last year either.

He is a great kid, but extremely competitive.

Sounds strange, but he really does not have any special hobbies or wants. Even going back a few years he never really liked to play with toys. I would say that he enjoys the computer.


He has not been in other organized activities. With 2 older siblings he does what they do for thew most part. For a few years my wife and I recognize him as having great athletic potential. He was 3 1/2 when he began swimming on his own. He was riding a bike without training wheels when he was still 3.


What triggered this request and this dialog? Last Saturday he was crying ...again...on the Soccer field. The game started and he just stood around and ran to me and said "I don't know what to do". I told him to "score a goal". He then ran out on the field through the moving mass of 5 year olds and stole the ball away and took off. No one caught up to him split,2 defenders and scored a goal. He was amazing. However, he immediately ran all the way back to me in tears saying "I scored a goal, but it's still not fun."


I give him so much encouragement, but he doesn't want to be there. What is the gameplan, coach?







Hello, great to hear from you.

I had this lengthy advice typed out for you and it just vanished. So I am starting over. I have to step out the office for a bit but will respond promptly.
Your son sounds like an incredibly gifted athlete. However, he just may not have developed the emotional competitive etiquette that is a part of team sports. He will reach that point when he is ready. Just continue to be patient and encouraging.

If your son truly does not want to play soccer right now, do not force him. It will start to feel like a punishment. However since he is rather skilled in soccer, continue to strengthen his skills at home. Also, you may want to seek the assistance of a professional athletic trainer for kids to keep his skills stay polished. He may want to pick up soccer in the near future.

Additionally, your son may need to mature a little as he develops more self esteem. That may be part of the problem. He has to believe that he is good enough to be out there on the field and compete.

Just continue to expose him to soccer events such as watching high school, college, and professional games on tv or in person.

Also, expose him to other activities. He may be skilled in soccer but develop a liking for another sport. Let him find his niche. You and your son have many years to come.

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