Making the Cut: Children Dealing with Disappointment

With such a big family, I’ve always told my kids that they can’t be on travelling sports teams. When my children have asked to try out for such teams, my response has consistently been, “There are enough kids in your own city that are good enough to play with you.”

But, I have this one kid who loves hockey and wants to play all the time. She noticed that her friends who play on “rep” teams get to be on the ice a lot more than she and her house league pals. Her perfect day would include no less than three games of hockey.

She began her campaign to get me to change my mind, and presented a plan that detailed how we could manage her hockey schedule if she was on a rep team. My wise kid had already recruited her aunt, who committed to be the “hockey parent”. My little hockey player even told us how she planned to contribute financially to offset the extra costs. She won. I allowed her to try out. Basically, she’s a really good kid who can be crafty at getting her way.

julie-cole-making the cut

But when she got cut from the team I realized just how awesome she really is.

I had gone to one of the try-outs and it was pretty clear to me that everyone there was bigger, faster and stronger. She’s only been playing proper hockey for two years. She was on the ice with girls who were older and had several years of rep hockey under their belts.

The coach had told the girls he was looking for hard working hockey players. Since no one works harder out there than my kid, she figured it would earn her a spot on the team.

When the e-mail came saying she was cut from the team, she told me she’d just have to practice more for next year. I didn’t see tears, I didn’t hear, “it’s not fair,” and I certainly didn’t hear her say, “but I’m better than so-and-so.” She just wants to practice more.

So, I’m proud of my daughter for getting cut from the hockey team. Her actions tell me that no matter what happens, on or off the ice, that she is confident and resilient. Nothing she can do in a hockey game can make me more proud of how she responded to that disappointing news.

How has your child responded to disappointment? Have you had to deal with a similar situation in your house?


Comments (3)

  • We signed our kids up for skating lessons a few years ago and the skating school had a strict no refund policy. When they saw how our kids skated they said that we had to stop coming because they were a danger to everyone else and gave our money back. They were still young at this time so we laughed it off but I am curious as to what other parents with older children do when this happens as well…great post

  • We had the exact same situation at our house. My 8 yo daughter tried out for the select team two years in a row and didn’t make it. She was the strongest goalie in the league and they asked her try out as a goalie but she wanted to improve her skills playing out of the net and she thought that getting more ice time through select would allow her that extra time. She didn’t make it so now she and hubby go to family stick and puck on Sundays to work on her skating. You’ve got a great daughter there Julie!

  • My daughter hasn’t been cut from a team (yet) but she was dead last in her age group at the local triathlon last year. She was upset but we talked about how she could get faster for the next one and reasons why she didn’t do as well as she hoped.
    I think it was more heartbreaking for me than for her.

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