The downside of my famous dad

A teenager asks: Do I have to play basketball just because dad used to be a star?
Talk to your parents, says our elder, and find an activity you love.

Dear EWC

My dad was a famous volleyball player and is now a coach, specializing in volleyball for over 30 years. I wasn’t interested at all in sports even though my parents forced me to volleyball, basketball, and handball training for a few months at most. I’m a 5’11 chubby teenager and my height actually hides my weight but also, my parents argue that I should play sports because I’m tall. And actually, after a few weeks of training, generally for all sports I’ve trained, I’ve become a bit more comfortable. Yet I do NOT have the passion for any sports unlike my dad. Soon I will attend another basketball training and I’m a nervous wreck. I’ve never had much self confidence and am afraid of falling or embarrassing myself. So far all the girls there were a few years older, tall, beautiful, and fit and I feel so strange. What do I do to build up my self confidence?

Papa-Smokey replies

It’s very hard to have to please your parents when being forced to participate in certain physical activities.  Having said that, it is important to get enough physical exercise in order to stay fit and healthy.  You do admit to becoming more comfortable after a few weeks of training so make sure you feel you have given an activity a fair chance before deciding you don’t like it. I also think being involved in a team sport helps teach important life skills like teamwork, confidence and sacrificing for others.  

You should definitely have input for which physical activities to participate in.  It doesn’t have to be formal training or organized sports.  It can be a wide range of activities including walking, swimming, yoga, biking, going to the gym and beyond. You can join different organizations to participate with others, but not have to compete. It should definitely be something you enjoy beyond other activities. It can also be several different activities, which can be very healthy in exercising different muscle groups and with different cardio benefits. The fact that you’re tall would probably give you an edge in certain sports, but if you have given those activities a chance and don’t enjoy them you should have the choice not to participate.

If you don’t enjoy attending basketball training or other sports you should be able to sit with your parents and tell them how you feel and inform them you would rather participate in other activities to get physical exercise. Hopefully they will respect your wishes.

Best Regards,

Elder Papa-Smokey

Reference: #421674

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