This morning my daughter went to track tryouts and I am proud of her. She told me this fall that she was going to do track in the spring and so we got the requisite physical. When it came to me telling her this past weekend about track tryouts coming up, she said she didn't want to. I really struggled with this. She made a verbal commitment and I want her to follow-thru with what she said. I wanted the decision to be hers, but I also felt that I needed to push her too. I talked about it with my husband and he agreed with me. Our kid has a life history of not wanting to try new things such as art camp now in year 4 and loves it. She always surveyed the situation even as a toddler before jumping in. I also want her to make decisions. There is a delicate balance. I told her there was one way that I would be okay with her not trying out. If track interfered with her ballet classes, I would be okay with not trying out . Of course, she could sabotage the tryouts in a myriad of ways, not try her hardest or "forget" to turn in her physical paperwork, but ultimately that was up to her.
Part of her reluctance was the fact that many of her friends who said they were going to try out weren't. She discovered that just one friend was and she told me she was going because of her. I actually don't care what motivated her to get there. She got there. She turned in the paperwork on Monday and seemed excited after school because her friend was trying out. Paperwork turned in. New outfit secured and she survived her first tryout runs, the mile and the 100.
I am happy for a number of reasons. I know how important it is for kids to be connected to school. I want my kid to experience perhaps trying out and not making the team or making them team and experiencing what it is like to be on a team. I also know how important it is for girls to be active and track is the ideal sport. It is about personal records as well as individual and team wins. The other plus is that track and field events rely on a variety of strengths. As a former track coach, we could always find a place for all the kids who came out to track. I don't know if that is the middle school track coach's philosophy.
She told this afternoon that she didn't like it while she was doing it, but she felt good afterwards. Her friend isn't going back tomorrow, but she is.