Home / Soccer Parents / 10-year-old Burn Out – Will Your Child Thank You?


How does a 10-year-old get burnt out of anything? Their energy level has no bounds. They can jump from one activity to the next and as long as their having fun the only thing that will stop them is dinner time and bed time. Well, it happens to 10-year-olds that are pushed too hard too fast to become the ‘best’. Whatever that means. If you push your child into one sport (or any activity) with the thought that it’s your retirement plan because that kid is going pro you are not helping. I understand that professional players are groomed early but if your child hasn’t been noticed by Manchester United already it isn’t going to happen.

Every parent is well meaning. You want the best for their child. You want your child to taste success at an early age. I propose that you give your child the opportunity to succeed and let them lead you to the sport that they will play in high school and college and the pros. Let them show you where their strengths are by giving them the opportunity to experience different things. In the back of your mind you’ll know that your child is the next Freddy Adu but you need to keep that right there — in the back of your mind.

And, as an ex-college NCAA Div 1 player I can tell you that a few years of Tae-Kwon Do helped with flexibility, strength and balance. Playing racquetball with my dad taught me quickness and I had a lot of fun with him, too. Getting to the gym for weight training I learned about the mechanics of the body. And during the summer I was so ready to play soccer that I would take my jam box to the park and hit a ball against a kick wall for hours. One year my parents signed me up for gymnastics. I couldn’t believe it. I hated gymnastics. And I hid under the bleachers in the gym. I didn’t want to participate. My dad didn’t yell. He didn’t force it. He un-enrolled me and we went to dinner. I had no idea what burn out was because I got to tell my parents ‘no’ I don’t want to play that right now and they listened.

I didn’t play professional soccer. I did have a great time with soccer and was very competitive. Soccer made a great impact on my life because from an early age I was always ready to step out onto the field and give my all.

Thank you mom and dad for not taking that away from me.


About the author: tmarrero


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