My 13 year old son has been involved in organized sports since he was 4 years old. Over the years, he tried a wide variety of activites and chose to focus on baseball and soccer. He's always loved the competition, made good friends, and the sports were different enough that they provided lots of challenges. His dad and I have loved watching him - seeing him mature physically, emotionally, and mentally and compete at a select level.
The past two years he's been plagued with injuries/overuse issues. It started with Sever's desease in his heels - making running very painful. Last spring, he suffered a concussion. His pediatrician was (thankfully) very cautious about allowing him to return to play. Baseball season was a wash and he sat out the first two months of soccer practices. Two months back into soccer and we discovered he has Osgood-Schlatters in his knees. Even with stretching, icing, knee braces, the poor kid was in so much pain he's withdrawn from soccer. Initially, this was quite a blow.
Lately though, he's discovered a whole new life --- one that we were hoping to delay.
Suddenly the world of hanging at the mall, playing video games, and girls has opened up to him. At first I was okay with his taking a break, trying different things, maybe he was burnt out. Unfortunately, I don't like a lot of the changes I see. His sleeping and eating patterns have changed. Regular work outs used to translate to healthier habits. His friends have changed - not necessarily for the better. We've told him for his own well being, we'd like him to find something physical he can do on a regular basis and we've been leaving it open to him. He still has to deal with the OSD in his knees though - which is limiting. At the moment he's not real keen on swimming, but I don't know what alternatives there are. He has no interest in any of the non-athletic school clubs or community groups. I miss the aspects of athletics that promoted self-discipline, teamwork and leadership. While I hope he'll carry those life lessons with him, I feel like he's on the edge. Any suggestions?