5th grade basketball drama

violetsviolets Posts: 1,689Registered Users
My bf's daughter, in 5th grade, has been on a basketball team every
year since 2nd grade.
Now the problem with this is that she is in the team but she doesn't play.
She gets a turn to play and all she does is run back and forth between
the court after her team mates. She never takes the ball, shoots or anything.
Now this was ok in 2nd grade, maybe 3rd ( although I didn't think so back then) but really this is her 4th year and she STILL doing that.

I talk to her about it and all she says is that she is not aggressive. She knows how to play, bc she plays at our house with my son and she actually shoots and everything. Mind you, my son is about her height, but he is much stronger than she is. So she can play. That is not the issue.

Well, this year, apparently the coaches have decided to let her sit at the bench. Last 2 games she has played for 1 or 2 MINUTES and she gets back to the bench. She is all upset about it. Her dad told her to go knock down another team mate in practice or in the game and they will let her play. I told her to go talk to the coach and ask them why are they doing that to her. I was very straight with her and told her what she is doing is not fair to the team and they want her out. Now they can't "kick" her out so they are doing this instead. She opened her eyes like she couldn't believe what I was saying. I told her go talk to the coach and let him know that you are going to pass the ball, attempt shooting and everything else.
But you really have to do it, if you are serious about staying in the team.

Now she wants her dad to go talk to them. Her dad is not going to. He told her "I told you what to do, go knock someone in their butt" I would not bc it's not my place. I wouldn't do that for my son anyways. I probably would not have signed him up to begin with.

I think she is so afraid of failing that she just wants to get by,saying she "plays basketball " without really having to do it. I have seen her do the same thing other times. She went to a chess tournament that my son plays. She asked me to sign her up and then she didn't want to sit with her partner after the clock started. I practically had to force her to go sit and play.

Yesterday the coach did the same thing. She played for a minute or 2.

What would you tell her?


  • murrrcatmurrrcat Posts: 9,596Registered Users
    I have no idea, but I did that, and I still do that. I quit or I don't really try so I can skate by because i hate failing.

    I don't know why, it doesn't help me at all.

    When I did track, I didn't actually try, I would like casually do it, enough to do it but not enough where anyone would rely on me. I just didn't want the attention or pressure.

    I would do something now though, before she does it forever. I think what you did was good, you gotta make her do it.

    Tell her to stop or she will turn into a turtle. :toothy4:
  • roseannadanaroseannadana Posts: 5,632Registered Users
    Sounds like she likes being on a team but not the sport so much. Maybe she'd like soccer or softball better and she's only playing BB because she's seeking someone's approval.

    If she plays BB and tried chess, I would guess she's trying to do what your son does. Encourage her to pursue her own interests. JMHO

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    It sounds to me like she doesn't really want to play basketball, she just likes the idea of being on a basketball team. Which I can totally relate to--I'm not athletic and have never felt comfortable playing sports. Basketball might not be her niche.

    My older son was like that sometimes in his soccer games last fall (he's 5). He liked running around on the field and horsing around with his teammates more than actually trying to kick the ball and score. If he does that next season, I will probably take him out of soccer and find a different sport that he wants to really get involved with. He's not benefiting from just phoning it in on the soccer field, nor are his teammates.

    My suggestions would be:
    -Look into enrolling her in a less competitive team/league. If she sees that she can really show off her skills and play well, she might gain confidence and motivation, or
    -See if she wants to do a different activity. For myself, I was never a sports player, but I did well in acrobatics and dance.
  • cailincailin Posts: 898Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    I was a lot like your daughter. I liked the idea of being on a team and having to go to practice and all that. But I wasn't competitive at all. I really didn't care who won or lost and I was so self-consious I didn't want to handle the ball "becasue then everyone would be looking at me while I failed"

    Eventually I found music instead. I was in marching band in HS and orchestra. It was everything I like about sports; comraderie, being part of a team....having something to do...with out all the sweating/
  • SunshineGrrlSunshineGrrl Posts: 3,823Registered Users
    cailin wrote: »
    I was a lot like your daughter. I liked the idea of being on a team and having to go to practice and all that. But I wasn't competitive at all. I really didn't care who won or lost and I was so self-consious I didn't want to handle the ball "becasue then everyone would be looking at me while I failed"

    Eventually I found music instead. I was in marching band in HS and orchestra. It was everything I like about sports; comraderie, being part of a team....having something to do...with out all the sweating/


    And...I had older brothers who were all sporty. They played at least baseball, one brother also played football, another brother ran track. One brother only played baseball. But he was a huge cowboy and practiced bull riding and roping all the time, just dinking around.

    I wanted to take dance lessons when pretty young, but my parents never did it. Apparently, we didn't have enough money. Just enough for my brother's to play their sports. I get it, dance lessons are more expensive than baseball, but I don't think it's fair that they got to do this kind of stuff and I never got to do anything. Actually, I lied. I got to take 2 gymnastics classes when I was young through community ed. Loved it, but I'm not good at tumbling, so they stopped.

    Anywho...I always felt the pressure to be what my brother's were. My parents didn't much care because they were pretty involved in my brother's stuff. Carting 3 boys to different baseball games and practices add up to a lot of time. I wanted to do sporty stuff, but was pretty much sedentary for most of my youth and I simply wasn't conditioned to sports...the discipline, aggressiveness, etc.

    I finally kind of gave up on sports because it was so stressful for me to try and be what my brother's were. We were all musical, two of my brother's were heavily involved in choir, show choir and musicals at school. That's where I kind of found my niche. I was good at music and liked being part of a "team." The schools competed in festivals against other schools.

    Also, when dinking around with friends, I was good enough at sports. I would go for the ball in volleyball, block, pass and shoot in basketball, could hit pretty much any ball and played well in the field at baseball. It was just the pressure to be a good athlete was more than I wanted. And it's more comfortable to be aggressive with the people you know.

    I've changed greatly as far as speaking my mind and being "aggressive." I still am not sporty, but hold my own in my life, including work, family and personal.

    Sometimes, the expectations for you are simply more than you wanted, so it's easier to let those expectations fade out and find strength in something else.

  • KilajoKilajo Posts: 786Registered Users
    My kids play competitive basketball. One plays in college. My advice is to put her on a rec team where everyone gets guaranteed playing time or don't let her play. Rec is for those kids that don't necessarily want to play for their jr. high or high school teams but still like basketball and playing on a team.

    If my kids do not put 100% into their extra curriculars then I find something else for them to do. I don't force them or even let them if they aren't trying. It's just not worth the expense.
  • curlysue21curlysue21 Posts: 5,219Registered Users
    This reminds me a lot of being on my swim team. I joined initially because I loved swimming and took lessons at the YMCA for a few years. It turns out I was not built for speed and wasn't competitive and one of the slowest swimmers in comparison to the other girls. I ended up taking times at meets and I sat out a lot. It was in part because my mom was being considerate of my feelings and asked the coach to accommodate me. But in truth I wish I had a bit more pressure put on me to try. I had low self esteem and was a shy little wallflower who never spoke up for myself and think if I was given a push, it may have given me some added confidence. So you were right for her to encourage her to speak up for herself.

    My girls are both in softball but I get the impression that they often like going to practice and games to socialize and be around their friends. The learning/rules element takes some effort sometimes, but my husband and I try to encourage them to play their best and not take it too hard if they have a bad day and that no one plays perfectly. My youngest is a great little athlete and takes it really hard sometimes when she loses.

    Perhaps like others said it is the team element she likes. I agree that a rec team might take some of the pressure off her to play perfectly. Does it seem like the coach adding a lot of pressure to the kids to play well? Or maybe she lost interest?
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  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,937Registered Users
    If I were one of her parents, I'd tell her that basketball is a team sport. She doesn't have to be the best but she is obligated to try. That is what you sign up for when you sign up for a team sport. It's fairly easy to tell when a kid is trying and not doing well (perfectly acceptable, not everyone is good at everything) and just not trying. If she can't try, she can't play. It's not fair to the rest of the team.

    But you're not her parents. I'd let them handle it. Chances are, this is just her personality and they need to figure out how to play to her strengths (which might not be team sports) and follow up on her obligations. Getting involved is only going to create hard feelings.
  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    Sounds like she's scared. I was like this too. But at least she has actually played at home so it's not like it's a foreign concept. I would encourage her to actually play and not switch her out to another activity. Sounds like she needs a push and there's a good chance she'll be thankful for it.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    IMO, basketball just isn't her thing. Just speaking for myself but when I am into something, I am all over it and really want to excel and I am driven to work hard. When I don't give a rat's asz, I just go thru the motions...if even that.

    You know her, violets. What do you think her interests and abilities are? What does she perk up about? there are sooooooooo many other things a 10 y/o girl can do besides bball. Maybe an individual sport? Maybe a noncompetitive group activity like Girl Scouts? Maybe something service oriented? Something in the arts?

    Not sure if purposely fouling an opponent is the answer. It could be seen as clumsy or bad sportpersonship.