Michael Jordan was cut from his ninth-grade basketball team.
Yes, there are still places in the world of sports where kids get cut from teams. In this day and age of participation trophies and no-cut policies there are still teams or organizations where teams are selected and someone chooses who the best players are. In that case it means that some kids might not make the team.
This is a harsh reality, but a reality it is. If you choose to chase the dream of playing at the highest levels you are facing the possibility that at some point in time you and your kid might not make the team. We all know that when your child get cut you feel like you got cut too. You have all invested in your kids career so there is plenty of pain to go around.
Parents have to understand that while they also feel pain when their kid gets cut, it really isn’t their pain. It is their child’s pain to deal with. Your child can learn a great deal from getting cut, but choices we make as parents will play a large role.
How we, as parents, handle that setback is the real test!
1. Allow time to pass. Don’t try to jump in and fix things immediately. Give your child (and you) time to process what has happened.
2. Give your kid some space. Without inserting your opinion, ask her how she is feeling. If she needs space, then give it to her. As long as you know she is safe being sad is temporary. She will sort it out in her own time.
3. Find a new purpose. After she has had time to process the events then ask how you can help. Brainstorm ideas. Talk about alternatives. When one door closes another opens.
4. Set small goals for success in new endeavors. If she decides to go in another direction help her set goals to show progress and to celebrate successes.
5. Going forward is always better than sitting still. Find things to do that get your kid out and about. Go for a hike, go shoot some hoops, go to the lake. Do anything and before you know it your kid is going to be into something new that makes that old set back seem pretty small.
We all get cut from something at some time in life. Getting cut from a team is a painful experience but it sets us up for the rest of our life. The lessons we learn here can make more difficult, real life situations, handleable!
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.