Parents Say I Must Practice a Sport

Published: December 29, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Hi I am a 13 year old girl and my parents tell me that each year I have to play one sport. I chose to join a recreational basketball team last year. My parents now act like a coach and as if Im a professional. They tell me every single day I have to go to the gym and practice. I dont even have a choice. This year they signed me up without warning. I hate playing. I feel like its my job. They only talk about school and basketball. They forget about my intrests. I have told them my favorite color and this year before they went Christmas shopping they asked me, "what is your favorite color?" I feel like I am an object not a person.
Signed: Parents Say I Must Practice a Sport

Dear Parents Say I Must Practice a Sport,

There are several potential benefits to playing sports, including:

  • Improved physical and mental health
  • Learning traits such as focus, dedication and leadership  
  • Being part of a team


However, TeenHealthFX understands that team sports can often come with a great deal of pressure. FX suggests having a conversation with your parents to explain how you are feeling. You may want to mention that you feel the amount of time you have been dedicating to basketball is taking away from time you would enjoy focusing on your personal interests. It is important that you approach this conversation in a calm manner. FX suggests checking out TeenHealth's article, "Raising Diffucult Topics" for tips on preparing for this conversation.

Possible strategies include:

  • Practice a different sport or physical activity. Choosing a sport that makes you happy will make you more likely to want to practice and play.
  • Work with your parents to create a schedule that properly balances exercise and personal interest. It is recommended that teens get at least one hour of physical activity per day. Weight training should be monitored by a certified adult.


If you find that your conversation with your parents is unsuccessful, FX recommends reaching out to a trusted adult of choice. This may include your school counselor, principal, or coach his/herself.

TeenHealthFX suggests browsing the following resources for additional information:

Signed: TeenHealthFX