Should I Push My Tall Son to Play Basketball?

Now that I’m a parent, the answers regarding my own children are not always obvious. I would appreciate any insight anyone may offer.

My husband and I have 4 tall sons and a very short adopted daughter. My oldest son has no interest in sports. He’s very studious and has tried a variety of sports. He didn’t liked them and moved on. He’s very active in a variety of other clubs including music and academics. We are perfectly fine with what he is doing.

My next son is in middle school. He enjoys football. This year he is trying basketball after not playing for a few years. One physical problem he faces is that his leg bones have grown faster than his tendons, so the muscles are constantly pulled. When running, it’s very painful. During football, they cut him some slack and he didn’t have to do as much running as the other kids.  After 3 days of basketball season, he isn’t loving it and want to call it quits.  He feels awkward and uncoordinated.

My husband and I have learned how to tape his ankles so that the pain is lessened. This particular child is extremely tall. He has the potential to be over 6’6″ tall. We don’t want to push him into something he hates, but we feel that middle school is a good time to learn the basic skills of a sport. We feel like he should play this year, before making any permanent decisions.  However, we don’t want to fight him every day regarding this issue.  At least if he decides to play later on, he needs a foundation of skills and know the basic rules of the game.

I played basketball in high school while my husband didn’t. As the tallest girl around, I felt intense pressure to play basketball. I didn’t love it for a few years as I was growing so fast and was uncoordinated. I’m thankful my parents kept encouraging me as I eventually learned to love it.

I’d love every one’s thoughts on this issue as I want to be supportive of my child. Yet, I don’t want him to grow up resenting me for pushing him into the cookie-cutter mold of having to play basketball just because he’s tall.  Ugh! Help!

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