Being a full time trainer & coach I see this issue on a consistent basis. At the end of the day I understand that every parent wants the best for their kids and wants to see them make it to top and achieve anything and everything they want.
I have realised over the years while training many athletes that there are some who love training and what they are doing, then you have kids on the other side of the spectrum who want nothing to do with training or the sport itself. So I sometimes stop and ask them "What is your goal?" And by no surprise their goal is not related to the sport at all. So it makes me wonder, are you here training for yourself or are you being forced to come and train.
The biggest thing with sports especially as a kid is that, they need to be doing what the love, and trying out as many things as possible, in order to see where they would succeed the most but also where they would blossom based on their interest and desires. The worst thing to do is push a kid to do something they don't want. You will never get the most out of them that way. As adults we should be guiding our kids and supporting them in their decisions, instead of forcing them to do something just because we may have played that sport ourselves.
From my experience and dealing with a wide range of kids & youth I have realised that the kids that love the sport are the kids that get better the fastest. If you don't love something you will never put all your energy into it, so you will always be mediocre. You see it all the time in kids especially as they grow. How come that kid is better than that kid and so forth. There are a few minor things that come to play such as athleticism, height and a few smaller factors. But at the end of the day it comes down to how much they love what they are doing. How many hours are they putting outside of team practices? Its those kids who make it further then the ones who just enjoy the sport or are there because mom or dad drops them off for a few hours to play the sport. There is nothing wrong with playing sports for fun at all either. Where the line should get drawn is when it starts to become competitive and loads of money & hours is being spent on sport specific training and coaching. If your child is not enjoying it you are:
A) Wasting money
B) Not getting the most of the time being used since your son / daughter will not give it their all
C) It also does not make it enjoyable for the trainer / coach because the athlete is just going through the motions
As we continue to push our kids and force them to play a certain sport we are not only inhibiting them from growing as an athlete but we are going to eventually make them resent us. Let your kid explore and try new things, at the end of the day what ever it is they decide to do I am sure they will be much happier and give more energy towards that, instead of going through the motions somewhere else just to make mom and dad happy.
"The only way to do great work, is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it." - Steve Jobs
Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think!!