She Wants to Join Different School Clubs, But Her Parents Make Her Play Sports Full Time

“I like to play volleyball, but I want to participate in other school activities and clubs too. I’m not allowed to miss any practices, so I can’t do both. How do I convince my dad to let me do what I want?

Our Elder Says: Sports are great for kids, but it is also good to do other things and be well-rounded. Is there an older member of your family who is sympathetic and will go to bat for you?


Dear EWC,

I am playing a sport every season—not by choice, but because I am forced by my parents. The only sport I play by my own choice is volleyball during the fall. My parents make me do Winter and spring track, and summer swim team. I don’t enjoy these activities, but they say I have to “because otherwise you will be lazy and you need to get in shape.”

I have two older brothers and they enjoy these sports and choose to do them. My parents refuse to let me quit sports and participate in my school’s different clubs. I can’t do both because if I miss a practice I will get consequences. Recently I went on a field trip for school and got a stomachache so I didn’t go to practice. My dad said I still should’ve gone, and took away my right to go to any school events or social events. I have tried so hard to limit sports, but they just never listen to me and I’m so sick and tired of it. Please help me.


Paul-Dad Response

Hello, Katie,

I think sports are great for school-age kids. They teach lessons of discipline, teamwork, dedication, fitness, and much more. I think it’s very appropriate for parents to strongly encourage sports participation. The encouragement may very well involve a push to the student to persevere and continue in a sport even when the student is leaning to drop out.  

On the other hand, I’m uncomfortable with parents who insist that their kids must participate in every sport, and go to every practice, every season, even for sports that the child doesn’t care for.  I would also like to see students participate in a rounded selection of school activities, such as choir, band, charities, theater, and academic clubs. Those activities can help to form friendships, teach life skills, and will be looked upon positively for college admittance. 

Katie, do you have an older sibling, aunt, or uncle who you might speak to about your problem in confidence?  Might there be someone who would go to bat for you to gently urge your parents to ease off on sports and find some other activities?

You probably have a professional counselor at your school.  Please make an appointment with the counselor to discuss this issue. Counselors are trained to help students with all kinds of issues and assist in ways that don’t create more problems than they solve.  You’ve got nothing to lose.

Good luck to you, Katie. Thanks for writing to us, and please drop us a line to let us know how things work out. 

Best Regards,


Article #: 501073
Category: Family

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