Why My Child Doesn’t Mix Well In Team Sports

Why My Child Doesn't Mix Well In Team Sports

Some parents on our parenting forum have commented recently on their children not mixing well in team sports, and one who mentioned the following;

Why Does My Child Not Mix Well In Team Sports?

I have met some kids that don't like team sports, my son included, should I be worried?

Our  son is not interested at all and sometimes when I try to get him to play soccer, he'll just freeze on the field and refuse to play.

I don't understand why this is happening, because as parents, we both loved team sports and used to play basketball, and soccer when we were at school. We're worried that he doesn't want to mix with other kids  Any advice?


Team sports are a fantastic way for kids to work together within a team. I think it can be an awesome way to develop self esteem, and make friends too. What should you do if your child doesn't like team sports?


Parent Coach, Susan Stiffelman, who wrote an article for huffington Post about this relevant topic mentioned the following;


Children with a very sensitive nature sometimes have a strong dislike for team sports. The pressure they feel from the other players and the coach becomes a terrible burden; I've worked with kids who were terrified that they would suffer humiliation or scolding by the other players if they missed a shot or fumbled a pass. While it's fine for kids to stretch out of their comfort zone, if a sensitive child is paralyzed with anxiety because of what is should be an enjoyable activity, I would look for an alternative.

Some children are extroverts and joiners, and others lean toward solitary or small-group activities. If your son is the kind of child who does poorly in big groups, try tennis, yoga or golf, where there are fewer bodies running around, and more individual instruction.

Your son might find it impossible to enjoy the peer pressure that comes with group sports and the collective focus on winning and losing. Consider activities that are less competitive and goal-oriented, like gymnastics or martial arts for children, where his focus will be on improving his skill, discipline and personal determination.

This isn't to say that we should protect our children from reasonable pressures that come from being accountable to teammates. Most kids do benefit from group sports, and benefit enormously.

But each child is unique, and forcing a highly reluctant child to participate in team sports can do more harm than good. While you may have fond memories from your own childhood sports experiences, your son has his own strengths, interests and passions. Encourage him to try, but if he isn't interested, choose an alternative. Some of the best tennis players were undoubtedly children who threw a fit when their parents tried to force them to play a team sport like baseball.

To read more of this interesting article you can click on the following link huffingtonpost.com

Parent Coach, and teacher Susan Stiffelman, has also written a book on  Parenting Without Power Struggles, which is currently available through Amazon

Socializing is not a skill, it is a learned behavior, and building up your self esteem can take many forms.

We have kids that have taken up Karate, as a form of building up their confidence also, while some other kids really do like individual sports. It might be a matter of choice for your child, and a case of responding to a sport that he or she does show an interest in.


We would love to hear your thoughts on this. Let us know what you think!


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Main Photo by Luke X Martin

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