Help with a parental dilemma.

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by DevilDog, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    My son has been on his school's varsity wrestling team since 8th grade. He has been the best wrestler on the team since 9th. The team has gone from the laughing stock of the state to a record of 14-1 this year. My son has been dingged up all year, but he has only lost twice. The team season ended last night, from here on it is about individual honors. He has not accepted his appointment from either Air Force or Navy yet. He is either playing football at Navy or Lax at Air Force, he has not decided which way to go. I am hoping AF Lax.

    I want him to shut down the wrestling for the year. He has no interest in wrestling in college. His coach says he has worked so hard over the 5 years, he should be given the opportuntiy to win a State Championship. I say who cares about a State Championship, last year he was one of the favorites and did not even place. He also missed the first month of lax season because of injuries from wrestling. The other coaches around our state know he is injured and you know that is where they are going to tell their kids to attack.

    I am trying to tell him, his coach and his guidance counsellor that if he gets hurt he loses the opportunity to go to one of the best colleges in the world. I think he is leaning towards AF.

    Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    I've heard what you and the coach think but nothing about what your son wants. Does he get a vote? IMHO - it is his future and he is at an age that he should make his own decision (after receiving your helpful parental advice of course).
     
  3. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    You are asking him to quit? Who cares if it's not about the team anymore?
    It is always about the team, the coach, the school. He is a representative of all three. Then there is the competitive urge that athletes have. I am sure you son must have it if he is a successful three sport athlete.
    Now if he is injured and should not wrestle, that is another matter. But life is full of risks, it's also full of opportunities. What are the chances he would suffer an injury so severe to keep him from AF or Navy? I know one wrestler who got a ruptured spleen, but your son could also get in a car accident or become ill (God-forbid).
    IMHO - to ask him to QUIT wrestling now is unfair and not necessary. If he wants to continue then he should continue.
     
  4. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    He wants to wrestle, but I still don't feel it is the right choice. He is a competitor, and won't back down. I feel at his age he does not completely understand what is at stake. When I was his age, I turned down Annapolis because of the committment and a girl, I regret that decision to this day. That was 31 years ago.
     
  5. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    He is hurt, he has been dingged all year. The doctor told him that to get better he needs to rest it. He also told him he can continue wrestling but it could get worse. If he were not in this situation, I would be fine with it.
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Take a step back and a deep breath. He should continue.
    Do you want him to tell his kid that he didn't wrestle in the state tournament because he was afraid of getting hurt? Not only that - the academies do not value quitting. He would be quitting because of a tiny risk and go to a place that asks him to give 100% of himself each and every day.
    If you force him to quit he will always remember that you made him quit.

    Are you going to let him play Lax this spring? he could tear and acl or get a concussion. I think the risk from Lax is bigger than the risk from wrestling.
     
  7. laxfan17

    laxfan17 Member

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    Ah the big question. I have to beg to differ, wrestling less dangerous than lax!!!! Anyway, IMHO I would give my son my opinion, then it is up to him. Agreed he is young, but he has to live with his decisions. Just a mom is totally right, anything can happen between now and I-day, wrestling is just one thing. My son is going to AF to play lacrosse, hope to see you there as a parent of a player. :) A little nervous about this upcoming season myself, oh the injuries we have seen..... You can't ask him to quit, really, c'mon. He's been playing too long, too many sports. He's too serious, he's looking at playing a sport in a Div I college, and you want him to stop before the state championships!!!!
     
  8. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    First of all - being recruited for football and lax - wow! Must be a heck of an athlete, especially when you add in a possible state champion wrestler?!! :eek: However, as a parent, I can fully understand how you feel and the perspective that he may not be able to appreciate the risks (the invincible teen mentality). Shoot, I'm stressing about my son going snowboarding this weekend! :wink:

    JAM - I'm not sure if you missed the part that the team season is over - otherwise, I would strongly agree that you can't just let the team down to avoid being injured. But it sounds like in this case he wouldn't be doing that, or "quitting", just not continuing on individually for a logical reason (the current injury and the desire to avoid a more serious injury).

    However, I have to agree that it is really up to him, and it sounds like he wants to wrestle. I know you're saying you regret decisions made 30 years ago, but it sounds like YOU made those decisions (not your parents). As much as he may regret it if he gets hurt; if he doesn't wrestle, he could always resent YOU for not giving him the chance at that state championship. Many/most kids never have that opportunity just due to a lack of ability. Seems very frustrating to have the ability and then not be allowed to try.

    I guess the question is what is the worst that could happen? If he does get injured and couldn't attend USxA this year, it sounds like with his athletics, his early LOA's and appointments this year, that he would almost certainly get in again next year. Is he willing to face that possibility - giving up a year in order to compete in the state championships? If he's not, then as JAM said, he shouldn't be playing lax either. Or doing anything risky. Pull out the bubble wrap! That said, with 3 boys, I've only been to the ER with them for stupid things that happened around the house or school - not all the sports they've been in. Shoot - the last one was my HS freshman playing "Duck, duck, goose" in the hallway at school after pep band at a basketball game when he got tripped and landed face-first and split open his whole chin. Couldn't have predicted that one. :rolleyes: (Although you'll be glad to know the band teacher now emphasizes the importance of not playing that game!).

    Bottom line is that I think all you can do is make sure he's aware of all possible situations and consequences, but then let him decide. Good luck!
     
  9. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    Thank you, I am taking a step back and the insight has helped.

    As a parent of two athletes that compete in football, Lacrosse and wrestling, I can say that it is my opinion that wrestling is the most dangerous by far. My son gets injured every year wrestling, two years ago he needed knee sugery from an injury he got in the conference tournament. Of course he waited until after the lax season to get the surgery but he had to bow out of the state tournament.

    I think you are all right. I am going to express my opinion and let him make up his mind. He is a big boy, and if he loses a year at one of the academies because of an injury, it will be on him. I have done everything I can to get him to this point in life.

    I never looked at it as quitting, he did what he needed to do for his team. The rest of the way is for his own glory. He has been told by a doctor to rest so he can recuperate. He won't get rest because Lax practice starts the Monday after the State Wrestling tournament.


    Laxfan17, I hope my boy does play lax at AF. If he does it will be great to meet you. He was out there recently and spent the day with the team. He loved it, he said they treated him great. I think the factor influencing him is the distance. We live on the east coast and if he goes to Navy, we can go down there to see him play, and we can visit with him when he has time off. Also, his girlfriend is going to school in Maryland or Washington DC, I think that may be a factor.
     
  10. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    Marciemi - Thank you for your input and compliments. I have 3, and he is the only one I have ever taken to an emergancy room, he is the only one to have had surgery for an injury. There may be an explanation for it he is the most gifted athlete of my children and he goes all out. In 9th grade he broke his thumb during football season. He would get it taped, and play. Then he went thru wrestling and lacrosse season with the broken thumb and took care of it during the summer.

    As you are all advising, I think it would be the right thing to let him make his own decision but I will give him my opinion.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    My son had played football, soccer, and baseball every year since the beginning of time. Soccer is in the spring and football was the fall, so he was able to do both. Baseball was late spring. No conflicts. He was varsity since 10th grade. All state, All conference, etc... After accepting his air force academy appointment in November, football season ended. But there was still soccer and baseball coming up in the spring. He really loved all 3 sports. But he thought about is; and decided that he didn't want to risk an injury ending his academy appointment. He was recruited for football, so he told the coach that he wouldn't be playing soccer his senior year. It very much upset the coach. And probably some of his team mates with whom he played with for 6 years.

    I expressed my opinion to my son. My opinion was that I didn't think it was worth risking an injury. But I told him that it was totally his choice. I also mentioned the positives of not doing soccer in the spring. e.g. more free time with friends, girl friend, maintaining his 4.0gpa, not having to stay up til midnight every night doing homework (All year long except for Dec-Jan he went to bed at midnight and woke up at 6am). Anyway; he chose to back out of soccer and baseball. He had no regrets with his decision. Yes, he missed playing during his senior year. He loved soccer as much as football. But he recognized the risks and the pros and cons and chose accordingly. Did he let down his soccer team mates? Probably. Did he quit? Depends on how you want to look at it. The academy was/is more important to him than soccer was.

    Bottom line is that it has to be his choice. Definitely put it into perspective for him so he sees the pros and cons of staying or leaving. But in the end, it has to be his decision. good luck. mike....
     
  12. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    Thanks Mike. I am going to lay it out for him and let him make the call.
     
  13. SALTY007

    SALTY007 Member

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    We can guide, we can adivse, we can open their eyes, but in the end...especially at this age when they become "Adults"...we have to let them make their decisions/choices.
    It may not be the one we make and we can try and show them the "pros & cons"....but unfortunately....they have to up and fly at some time :wink:
    I agree with most of the other parents posts....got to let them make the decision and hope its a good choice.
     
  14. CranoOrden

    CranoOrden Member

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    My two cents:

    I lost my main sport which I'd gone to Nationals three times early in HS. When I was a senior, I ran cross country just to try and get in shape for USAFA. About half way through the season I stayed after practice with my best friend to help him practice pole vaulting. He jokingly convinced me to try it. Even though I had no idea what I was doing, I tried it and soon was vaulting each day after practice. In the first tri-meet of the indoor season I scratched out at 8'6'' (that's really bad, if you don't know). My parents never told me I should quit, because it was slightly injury prone, even though I know they were thinking it. They instead just stayed supportive of my goals (which was especially helpful when I was terribly embarrassing for a while!).

    I decided to keep trying because I enjoyed it and the people of the vaulting team. Yes, I did end up getting injured a few because I was playing a dangerous sport without much experience (falling from 10+ feet several times a day onto dirt when I didn't invert correctly, etc). However, in two months I went from only clearing 8' to clearing 11'6 and qualifying to go to states. I went to Indoor states where I set another personal record of 12') By the end of the school year I'd moved up to 12'6 and was competing at Outdoor states and two club tournaments.

    It was, by far, the best athletic experience of my life. Yes, I'd gone to nationals three times before but nothing compared to the feeling I got from vaulting. Going to states and competing, especially in a sport I was still learning, taught me (as sappy as it sounds, stay with me) a lot about myself and how I compete.

    So the bottom line: Yes, I know I took a risk. But that risk had some of the biggest pay offs in my senior year. Had my parents tried to take that away from me, I would never have those experiences and lessons that I got from vaulting.
     
  15. AFAMOM08

    AFAMOM08 Member

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    I would have a heart to heart talk with your son and ask the what ifs--what if by participating in the tournaments he makes his injuries worse and gets DQ from the academy? If he worsens the injury will it affect his performance at BCT? What would he feel if he ended up getting turned back? Is he willing to risk that? Etc. Etc. Perhaps he doesn't realize that not to compete if you are hurt is an option. We had a similar situation and let a coach talk our son into "playing through the pain". He ended up agravating his injury with a DQ after he had accepted his appointment, and had to go through a nightmare to get a waiver. He was successful, but didn't know for sure until the week before Iday that his waiver had been granted.

    However, once you have had this discussion it needs to be his decision--it is his life after all and he will soon learn that there are consequences to all of our decisions and actions.
     
  16. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My kids decided to lay off the heavy competition in late May before BCT. The Monday after their last tournament (around mid-May), one of them managed to get a concussion while he was supposed to be cleaning his bedroom. Yes, those rascal twins, they were goofing off and boom! one thing led to another and we were in the ER, with a concussion. That led to tons of paper work and more headache than the concussion caused.

    I guess my point is that even if your son elects not to compete at States, he might still be injured cleaning his bedroom, especially if he shares it with his similarly crazy twin brother.

    Lay it out for him, including that he may be so injured that he might have to put off the Academy for a year. Then let him make the decision. My money says he elects to compete. At least if he's injured it won't be while cleaning his bedroom!!!!!
     
  17. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Chirstcorp - There is one key difference between your son and Devildog's son - Your son decided from the beginning of the season not to play.
    Devildog's son would be quitting at the end of the season.

    marciemi - I do fully understand that he would be wrestling as an individual. However, he is still part of the TEAM. His coach and his school have an investment in him as an athlete. Honestly, as a future cadet/mid - he probably is a fantastic role model on his team and in his school. Quitting now kind of damages that, I think.

    You can "what if" forever - What if you as a Dad prohibit him from wrestling and he blows out his knee in LAX in May? It is seriously head-spinning. IMO - fulfilling your obligation to your team, coach and school by wrestling in the state tournament in Feb/March is a far cry from cliff jumping the third week in June.

    fencersmother - LOL!
     
  18. CadCandMateus

    CadCandMateus Recent Grad

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    From what i've heard, the lax team includes certain individuals who like drinking under age thus getting the whole team in trouble.


    Something to think about.
     
  19. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    JAM: It doesn't matter when my son did what. The point of mentioning his sports was to empathize with devildog. The moral of the story is: Talk with your son; discuss the pros and cons and competing or not competing; and let HIM decide for himself. The answer really shouldn't be any other way. Not because I'm trying to be right; that isn't important. Because as a parent, we prepare our children to make decisions for themselves. But it's a growing process. Which means parent still have the responsibility to ensure that their children have all the information and options available prior to making their choice. And that the choice wasn't strictly emotional or desire based without all the information. Sounds like that is what Devildog is going to do. Chat with their son and make sure he has thought out the pros and cons. This way he can make an informed decision. Then the decision is right for him. Doesn't matter what anyone else here would do. "I would do this..." or "I would do that...." is not the right answer. The right answer is whatever their son chooses. As long as it's an informed decision.
     
  20. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    I don't think this is a place to make those type of alegations.
     

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