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Dear Wendy

Deciding whether or not to quit my college sport

Home Forums Advice & Chat Deciding whether or not to quit my college sport

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  • #1109958 Reply

    I have been playing my sport for 12 years. It has pretty much defined my life and those who know me think of my sport when they think of me. I did love it, for a long time, but that changed over the last few years. Going to college really made me grow up and I started to realize the things that were really important vs the things that really weren’t, and lately I’ve been feeling like my sport is not as important to me as it once was. Being a college athlete was one of the most miserable things in my life. I absolutely hated it, hated my coach, hated my team, hated going to practice everyday. I woke up every single day not feeling at all excited to start my day knowing I had practice that night. My coach was an asshole and treated me like I didn’t belong on the team and barely played me despite my hard work. I cried almost everyday and there were days where I felt that “I want to die” feeling. My school was 7 hours away from home and I chose it solely for my sport. So, I made the decision to transfer schools. However, my dad pressured me saying I should try and play my sport at another school. I ended up talking to a coach and saying I would come next year. I knew I didn’t want to and I did it anyways for my dad. That was in March. It is now May and my enrollment deposit is due in 2 days and I’ve realized I don’t want to do it, like, at all. The only reasons that I want to do it involve other people – not disappointing people, not letting people down, etc., but no reasons for ME. I’ve realized that I cannot again go through what I went through last winter. I could in theory give it a try for a semester and then quit, but it’s a lot of money and I feel my time would be better spent getting good grades and working to make money. Does anyone have any advice about how to tackle this issue?

    #1109959 Reply

    I’m not sure how college sports works entirely, do you get some form of scholarship and that’s why you had to change schools? Or did you just change because you hated those people on your team?

    #1109960 Reply

    Probably should’ve mentioned this in the original post, I am in Division 3 so there are no scholarships or contracts involved, so everything is non-binding

    #1109961 Reply

    You need to have a talk with your father. He is way too invested in being your fan in this sport, while you need to be about the business of preparing for the rest of your life. This involves doing well academically and finding a field which both interests you and provides a good chance of a good job after graduation. Part of what you need to tell your Dad: after 12 years, you are tired of your sport and see the daily practices as drudgery, which detracts from your getting an education; that if you Dad has visions of you having a future in this sport he needs to forget it — you are in Div 3 and your coach thinks you are not good enough to get significant playing time. That is a signal that your skill in this sport is not good enough to have a place in it post-college. You need to tell your Dad that while you don’t get along with your coach, a different coach won’t matter, because you are tired of and in your mind you are done with this sport.

    You need to lead your own best life: the one that makes you happy and prepares you for your future. Your Dad should understand this and agree, if you explain yourself to him as you did to us.

    Tell him that you will put the time saved to good use: good grades, actual learning which isn’t the same as good grades, finding your academic/vocational home, making new friends, destressing, smiling more.

    #1109962 Reply

    Tell your dad what you realized, like basically what you’ve written here. If I was your father, I wouldn’t want you to be forced into that. Does he know what you went through?

    I grew up people pleasing and have only just realized to what extent that’s affected me and my life and I’m 38! Tell him the truth and don’t play the sport anymore if it makes you unhappy. Is it the sport, your experience at the college or both that are the problem, because if he’s going to pressure you, be ready to push back further and answer questions. However, I hope you don’t have to give many reasons and truly hope your parents understand and support your decisions.

    Why do you think he wants you to stick with it so much?
    Good luck. And let this be a good lesson. In the future, try to be honest and stick up for what you know is best for you, despite your parents, despite most anyone else, as soon as you can.

    #1109965 Reply

    Yeah – some parents live through their children’s achievements. Dread is a really good sign that this is not the thing for you. I think it’s time you sat your father down and explain that this gives you no joy and no sense of accomplishment and then do what you want to do. This is a great time to start making your own decisions based on your needs.

    #1109968 Reply
    Avatar photoCopa

    From what I know, anxiety and depression are common amongst college athletes. The time commitment and pressure to perform in school and as an athlete are intense. I’m sorry this has been hard for you.

    Who is paying for school? If your dad is not paying for your education, I’d personally not involve him in any discussions of your decision to quit. Eventually you need to learn to make your own decisions and feel confident in them even if they disappoint others. It can feel bad to disappoint others, but at some point the person you will be disappointed most is yourself.

    If your school has mental health resources, these are often free or discounted for students who are struggling. You may be able to find support there. I’d be willing to be they’ve me a lot of student athletes.

    Good luck!

    #1109977 Reply

    I would really like to encourage you to seek out whatever counseling services or anything through school, as Copa said. It’s such an incredible resource.

    Making boundaries as a young adult with parents is tricky but important and of course, more complicated if he is financially supporting you.

    #1109978 Reply

    Adults love to see young people sacrifice terribly for their entertainment. You have no obligation to accomodate them.

    #1110075 Reply

    Do as your heart and mind tell you. Talk to your father about it. Maybe you’ll come to a compromise.
    Student years change a lot of people, it’s true. What seemed important before gradually goes into the background. And this is normal, there is no need to be afraid of it. The main thing now is to define your life priorities and goals. Do not lose time.

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