Let Them Know You Believe in Them

I am a little heart broken. I have a 15-year-old daughter who has swum on and off since she was 5 years old. She is thinking of quitting the sport altogether.

Yes, the practices are hard. Yes, the practices are early. Yes, she has had a number of her friends quit the team. Yes, she has other commitments in high school she prioritizes over swimming. Yes, she loves the sport. Yes, she began to excel.

And then she got a new coach. It was great at first. But then she could tell that he stopped believing in her. And now…well now…she wants to quit. Because of her age, she doesn’t want to switch teams.

If it’s not with this team she’s on now, she’s done.

She wants someone who will believe in her. Someone who will push her to reach her potential. But this coach, this coach has her swim with elementary-aged students, not even with her age group. She is never tired after practice, and she is calling enough already. If she is going to spend so much time doing something, she wants to spend it with someone who believes in her.

The classroom lesson? Students know when you don’t believe in them. They give up and disengage when you don’t believe in them. So go out, take a risk, let your students  know without a doubt you’re on the journey with them.

9 thoughts on “Let Them Know You Believe in Them

  1. Such a bummer! My girlfriend’s daughter is going through the same thing with gymnastics. You are right. We need to make sure EVERY student knows we believe in them. Good luck with the swimming.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So cruddy for a 15-year-old to know that the coach doesn’t believe in her! Kids know when we have checked out on them. Thank you for the reminder that I must believe in kids so they can believe in themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a waste! And yes, I need to look at my own practices. I’m big on meeting kids where they are, not where they “should” be, but sometimes that takes me dangerously close to lowering the bar for them. Thank you for this poignant reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Like Maya, I hope she and you will find a way to make this work. After so many years of working hard, it sounds so disappointing. Yet, she must remember that she is in charge of the push, too. Will that help to talk about inner motivation? I’m sorry. You’ve put in a lot of time too. I’ve had “swimmer” students, hard-working always, and their parents devote so much time chauffeuring, at meets, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a hard decision to make! I see two ways this story could play out: a lesson in standing up for one’s needs and passion, even if the other person is in a place of authority; or the lesson of reprioritizing one’s life by making a big decision to channel energy elsewhere. I hope you share with us which path she chooses!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Molly, 22 days of writing. Great job. Life is so busy. Teaching, family, all of it–while I’m sorry you didn’t slice the rest of the month, I totally get how overwhelming life can be. I sooooo enjoyed reading your posts and hope you continue blogging–maybe Tuesday slices?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So sorry to read this Molly. So much time and energy into a great team and then you get a NEW coach…and it’s never the same. Hope she continues. I’ve had this happen with the boys. Such a shame!

    Liked by 1 person

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