Question: My son is on a competitive regional swim team. His current coach (who he loves) is leaving and is moving to a new team a few towns away. When we asked if he’d like to change teams, he decided to stay. Not based on any friends staying, but based upon him potentially moving up to a higher group. Turns out many kids are following the coach to his new team. With a mass exodus of the “good swimmers”, he feels there’s a good chance he can rise up to number 1 rather than number 9.
Should we keep him on the current team based upon his reasoning?
Once kids get older, reaching middle school and beyond, it’s time to let them have more control and decision making power. It’s a very good sign that he wants to steer things himself and stay on the current team. If he was quitting, I’d say step in and revisit his decision. But what many of us forget is that it’s very appealing to be the big fish in a little pond for a change. Many child experts believe – and I agree – that bolstering confidence this way (i.e., not constantly feeling like you’re behind the curve compared to your peers) is very useful for building resilience. He’s going to need that down the road (for swimming as well as other upcoming challenges).