Embarrassing Bad night


New Member
My son started basketball practice tonight and cried almost everytime he didn't make a basket. I know it's not all about me but I'm so embarrassed. Why can't he be like the other kids and shake it off like no big deal. (By the way no other kid cried) The other parents were looking at me like what's wrong with him? I tried talking with him about it but he kept saying "winning is the most important thing" He won't or can't change his thinking...

I'm wondering if maybe we should stop going, but maybe we should try and tough it out. I'm so angry right now and sad.


Well-Known Member
Suzy, I'd give it at little more time. And I'd bring a book so that I'm not so keenly aware of the crying. You can always talk to the coach and ask his/her opinion.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

Your difficult child is so very young to put himself under so much pressure. This is supposed to be fun for him. I'm sorry that he had such a tough night.

I like Sara's stats - maybe he'll be able to let up on himself after he here's how the pros do.

On the other hand, neither of my difficult children can handle team sports. It's just too much distraction & competition for them. They do better with other solo activities; wm is very much into ice skating right now. kt likes swimming at the Y. Something to consider.

Hope thing settle down tonight.


Suzy, timer lady is right -- your difficult child is very young. Furthermore, it sounds as if he has a fair amount of anxiety. This kind of organized activity may be too much for him to handle at this point, but you may want to take a wait-and-see attitude for the time being.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
We had to take difficult child out of soccer for the same reason, it was horrible! I felt so bad for being embarassed but she was the worst and the only one freaking out she would cry and scream and lay on the floor if she didn't score a goal and she could not comprehend the game at all... You can only take so much sometimes. Somedays I feel like why does my child always have to be the loudest, the one to always cry, to always freak out??? And it does suck when everyone is looking at you like what is wrong with your child??? You want to yell at them he is a difficult child !!! ha ha.
Then we suck it up and realize this is what we signed up for when we became parents and all that logical stuff... But I also realized my difficult child just can not handle competition... she has too much anxiety and too low self esteem. Her self image is horrible. We have her swim and just started a non-competitve gymnastic class. SO far so good... any thing else has been overload!

Good luck and hang in there.


New Member
Oh my goodness, that made ME cry.
aww poor little guy.
I liked Saras stats, too.
Maybe they will help.
SOmething to keep in mind- maybe if he is that sensitive etc, when it is something of a more positive nature, maybe he will also have that much reaction to positive? (I am not sure I am saying that right, grr at me)
Yes, 2 of my kids could not do team stuff or competitive stuff........it was just too much on them. ANd 1 of those kids also judged herself harsh in solitary activities. We had to go slow with her, ease her self expectations. :-(
HUGS to your lil guy. :-(
Don't be embarrased for having a kid who wants to be "great" Worse is to have a great kid who.....gloats real bad.

Sara PA

New Member
FWIW, I don't think team sports are appropriate until kids are around 8 or so at the youngest. I think kids do so much better and have more fun going to the playground and having a shoot around, playing catch or kicking a ball with Mom or Dad or Big Sib, as long as it stays light and fun. I think there is way too much pressure in our society for kids to join teams even before their motor skill are developed enough to acquire the skills to play the sport.

They should really learn the skills before they join a team, not join a team to learn the skills.


Well-Known Member
Well, all my kids started team sports at five (soccer) and none were traumatized or cried, nor did the other kids. So I think it's more about having fun than learning the skills. However, if any of my kids had been so frustrated it made them cry, I would have pulled them out. It's hard when our kids aren't acting like the other kids, but our kids are different, and I think it's best to respect their boundaties. When we think "why can't he be like Joe?" I think we're really feeling sorry for ourselves. I know there are times my son Lucas, who is on the Spectrum, is hanging at home and I see a group of teens having fun outside and I think, "I wish that..." but I make myself stop because Lucas is happy as he is. It's me wanting him to be doing "normal" things, but he gets pleasure differently than other kids. Also, some kids aren't cut out for team sports--not good athletes, not interested, or plain just can't handle them. Although all my kids played soccer, they all lost interest by high school and were more into creative pursuits. Lucas is the only kid who still plays other than my ten year old. And for Lucas it's because he would get NO exercise if he didn't do certain sports so I insist. But he also enjoys doing it. I wouldn't push it. (((Hugs)))


Well-Known Member

I must say that I agree with the others who say your difficult child is so very young. At 6, he is still forming social skills, not to mention handling the disappointment and embarrasment of "loosing" (which is what it is in his mind).

This could also lead to his being teased by some of the other kids which will open another can of worms - in my opinion.

My difficult child doesn't do organized sports either, we tried in first grade and knew right away that it wasn't going to work. He loves after school clubs (no competition).

I think I would take this weekend to talk to your little boy about the game. What is the coaches take, by the way? Perhaps watch a bball game on tv so he can see how many times the pros miss. Or, even take him to a local college game. Perhaps there are some older boys in the neighborhood that could talk to him to. He needs to learn early that it's about having fun and being a member of a team.

I feel for the little guy - it would have tugged at my heart strings for sure.



New Member
Our difficult child has cried several times during each season of baseball and soccer, but keeps wanting to go back, so we do. Baseball, we finally were able to talk him out of joining because as they got older, it got so darn competitive. It's still Little League, for crying out loud, but even the Coaches could be overheard discussing stats, etc., in front of the kids.

I think that it has everything to do with frustration and anxiety level in our difficult child. But, he loves soccer and overall, I think it is a positive thing. I used to get embarassed (and husband still does), but now I just don't care if other people are looking at me. I just think 'Let them look'. 'Let them talk'. Everyone who truly cares about our family and difficult child already knows he has issues. Everyone else just cannot register on my meter because I already have enough to worry about.

Bottom line for us was that difficult child really enjoys soccer - and it's one of the things he is actually quite good at, so we keep going. If the situation were different, I'm sure we would have pulled him as we did with Little League.

difficult child has now also been going to karate - he's been in a year now and will soon be testing for his first belt "upgrade". In one way, it is an individual activity, but he is part of a group as well. He loves it and it has done wonders for his breathing exercises and helped some with his self-control. Best part about it is that except for the once a year local tournament, it is not competitive - you just be the best you can be and work at it. I am quite sure that if he doesn't get the yellow belt, there will be tears, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

It's hard to watch our difficult child in any setting where he doesn't quite "blend in". I have been the mom with the burgundy face, slinking back to my car and not making eye contact with anyone, believe me. Some days are certainly better than others!

Good luck!!

PS: It's not a sports situation, but I took difficult child caroling with a local church group in December and he was so completely over the top, etc., that I was a bit embarassed until one of the Moms who I hardly know said "don't worry about it - everyone loves it because he is so enthusiastic". Nice word, enthusiastic, right??


New Member
Thanks everyone,

Last season Alex did baseball and he did cry a little when he got out, but as the season progressed he got better and there were few tears. Now that I think about it he got a hit almost everytime which is probably why it went well. I could care less if the kid is actually any good at any sport, but just want him to have fun and learn to be on a team like the rest of the kids. It's not like any adults are putting pressure on him, it's all self-imposed.

I'm on the fence regarding what we should do. On one hand, I think the only way he will learn and increase his self-esteem is by failure and learning that it's okay to lose or miss a basket. I want him to learn it's okay to be upset but not to cry or carry on about it. I know he is different but the real world is going to competitive. What does he do then?


New Member
I know I'm beating this topic to death and will stop after this post but my husband is pretty adamant that we continue so we can teach him how to handle these things. I don't know, after he takes him Saturday he may want to give up as well. Anyway, I'll stop now...Time to move on. Thanks for the advice.


Well-Known Member
You and your husband are the experts on your son. I know you will make the right decision for your family. :smile:


New Member
sure parts of the "real world" are competitive, but that also partly depends on what a person chooses to do.ANd an adult has more experience in coping and dealing with things. Some grow and develop those skills slower than others. If it is supposed to be fun, is it fun for him if he is crying? If he is embarrassed? Maybe it is maybe it's not.
My kids did non competetive dance, and Karate until approx middle school. (our Karate class was not competitive, it was more focused on form) By middle school my easy child went on to be on school basketball team.

Yah some people do like baseball, some basketball some knitting and some cooking. If the point is recreation and fun....each of us has our own idea of what is fun. If the point is exercise, there is dance, yoga, ballet, gymnastics, swimming, playgrounds, walking, running, bike riding.......if the point is social interactions, there is debateing, book clubs, scouts, church groups......
if you are trying to work on sportsmanship- maybe ? board games at hoeme for practice in positive sportsmanship first?


New Member
I just noticed you said "tnite" I am wondering if maybe that is just a bad time of day for your chidld? Maybe by the time it is time for practice or games maybe he is already tired for the day and does not have enough energy left for this activity?

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
Both difficult child and easy child did sports related activities since they were about 5. Team related sports from about 7. I recall in particular both girls joining the first recreational basketball team when they were about (easy child)10 and (difficult child)8 - it was co-ed. easy child didn't like it but we had done so much talking about 'tearmwork', she was determined to stick it out; she did and it was a wonderful experience for her.

I had a chat with the coach about how the boys never passed the ball to the girls (mine were the only two on the team) and eventually I noticed that the boys included the girls in play.

difficult child, on the other hand, lasted about 2 1/2 weeks. She cried everynight after practice and games (which was twice a week, so 5 altogether) and we realized that, "You know what? This isn't her thing" (difficult child is also quite short) and we allowed her to quit the team. She was fine. At the time, we had a rule that each kid had to be involved in some type of sport, so she either did cheerleading or soccer or softball up until 9th grade when a lot of things came to a head for her, and sports fell off. At that point, we imposed a rule that she had to be involved in some type of club or extra curricular activity...something that has fallen by the wayside as we dealt with bigger things over the years.

Anyway, you know your son best and you will choose what is right for him. H needs to ask himself what he wants difficult child to get out of this experience.


New Member
? performance anxiety?

NO! not the kind of performance anxiety adult males can get, LOL------
but maybe your son is getting too anxious. Maybe your husband could undestand the phrase performance anxiety?

Of course I have no idea what is going on with your son.I am just tossing ideas into the ring.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I think you have to consider each child when it comes to readiness for team sports.

My easy child started swimming competitively and playing softball at the age of 5. She thrived on the competition and is now getting a free education at a very expensive private university on a softball scholarship. Obviously, starting at a young age was beneficial for her.

However, 5 would be too early to start for some children. Like I said, however, it depends on the individual child. It sounds like in your difficult child's case, it might be too early. It does sound like he is being too stressed by the whole thing. I would also worry about what another poster said about the other kids starting to tease him.

I think I would try it a couple of more times but if it continues, I would tell the coach that I don't think he is ready and pull him off the team.

We have a local facility where kids can take private basketball lessons. Maybe a one-to-one situation with a private instructor would be less stressful and he would have more confidence for team play in a year or two.

It sounds like a stressful situation for both of you.



New Member
Dreamer said.....if you are trying to work on sportsmanship- maybe ? board games at hoeme for practice in positive sportsmanship first?

You know we have problems with board games at home, too, so maybe we do have to step back reevaluate if he is ready for basketball. I thought maybe he was making progress in terms of maturity in this area but apparently not.

I asked him today why he doesn't cry at school and he basically told me that it's not competitive. He must run into frustrating situations at school and seems to handle them there.

Anxiety may play a big role in this....I'm not sure.