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Having a child sell you on the idea of playing a sport?

I would love feedback on this issue.

Basically, I have an 11 y/o(12 in December) son who has played hockey since he was 4 except last year he decided he wanted to take a year off to try some other sports (Volleyball, Basketball, Hip Hop Dance and some arts like guitar/band). He's always been a struggle to get motivated to go to practices, games, etc and in fact up until Atom it was a fight to get him to a lot of his practices. Personally I just want my son to do what he wants to do, what he likes, what he's passionate about AND to make the decision of which sport he wants to take part in himself, not what he thinks I want or what his dad wants him to do. For these reasons I encouraged him to try something new last year to see if he would be better suited or would like another sport better. When he was involved in an "involved" sport such as hockey 3-5 times per week his school grades went down and almost all of his major assignments weren't getting handed in. This is another reason I encouraged him to try something new, thinking maybe he's just the type that can't handle too much on his plate (this is what I know now the older he gets and the harder school work gets).

Now, with his father's encouragement, my son wants to play hockey again with Powerskating classes leading up to the season which is already a long season as I'm sure you all know. Skating has always been his strong suit, stick skills not so much so if anything he should've been in a hockey camp that focused on all skills not just skating but we're too late for that. I agree powerskating will shake the rust off, so to speak, for his skating but being that he's just starting grade 7 and I'm not fully decided he can handle hockey to begin with I'm not sure. This wouldn't be such a hard decision to make if we weren't in a joint custody situation, previously high conflict. If I say no for the reasons of education, his dad will think I just say no to everything and there will be backlash so I'm darned if I do or don't.

My son says he likes it, it's fun, he wants to try it again this year but when asked if he thinks he can handle schoolwork and hockey 5 times per week at Peewee level, he said he wasn't sure. This isn't very convincing to me and his step-dad. Also, hockey is a very expensive sport at $590 to register plus new hockey equipment because I'm sure he's outgrown some of it; we want to be sure that our son is truly motivated to play and that he commits 100%. This means if we go away for the weekend, he stays with his dad to attend hockey; no excuses of a headache, my tummy's sore, he doesn't have a ride at his dad's or whatever excuse he can fabricate (this has been a problem in the past).

Sooo, his step-dad and I decided that if this is truly something he wants to do for the right reasons, he needs to come up with a contract that we will all sign which will include what happens if he can't keep up with his school work, what happens if his first report card comes back with unacceptable marks, etc. We aren't completely sure what would be fair for consequences. If he doesn't hand in a major assignment what should the punishment be? Should that be the point where we pull him out of hockey or should we ground him from hockey until his major assignment is complete and handed in? That seems more fair. At what point do we say that hockey is affecting his education too much, when his report card marks drop say 5% or a failing mark? Last year he couldn't handle the other sports he was in; the 1st report card wasn't bad, 2nd report card had a few missed major assignment which dropped his average 6%, the last report card he ended up with another 6% drop plus an overall 35% in French....I never was great at French either but a 35%?! Wow! And the worst part is that we had told him previous to this last report card that if he wanted to play hockey this year that he would have to prove to us by picking up his socks and bringing his average back up with no more missed major assignments and what does he do, keeps going down marks and fails a subject completely! Now if we don't do something he'll think he can do whatever he wants and get away with it BUT if we say no, because his bio-dad and I are not on the same page with this and is more sports focused than education, I look like the bad guy and that I'm being unreasonable even though I feel I have been more than fair.

I tell you all this to give you a better picture of my dillema.

The question is: Do you think a contract is fair given the circumstances AND if so, what do you think should be in the contract? What should the consequences be if he isn't doing his homework on a regular basis, doesn't hand in major assignments, his report card shows a decrease in average or an unacceptable mark, etc? This is a kid who can get 80's to 90's if he applies himself.

Any ideas would be appreciated; I want to be fair to my son and to his bio-dad that we have thought this through completely. I want to say yes and allow him to play but so far he hasn't proven he can either handle the demanding schedule and still maintain his school marks.

Thanks in advance!