Why do Some Kids get Upset When They don’t Make the Team?

My son recently made the cross-country team at his school, and although all of the kids “made the team”, he was still very excited. But it got me thinking about the question: Why do some kids get upset when they don’t make the team? Why does it affect some kids more than others when they don’t get chosen? And it occurred to me: because it fits my lens.

As I’ve mentioned many times, once you start to use what I am now calling the EASA Lens of Self Esteem, you begin to see examples of it everywhere in daily life.

Remember: E is for Esteem, A is for Achievements, S is for Society, and A is for Attributes and Assets. These are the “outside sources” upon which people often base their self worth and self esteem, but healthy self esteem comes from the inside.

Back to the topic of kids trying out for sports. It could be the lack of the Achievement. Not making the team means they go into a Less Than place. It could also be that by not making the team someone has decided they weren’t good enough. Be it the judge or other kids voting; someone has decided for them, “I’m not good enough.” Which takes them into a Less Than place where they believe the others who “made the cut” have more worth than they do.

The final reason could be Attributes. If you’re trying out for track and field or cross country, maybe you didn’t run fast enough. If you try out for the cheerleading squad and your kicks aren’t high enough, then maybe you’re not flexible enough. If you’re trying out for volleyball and you can’t spike the ball hard enough, then maybe you’re not strong enough. Those are all attributes that people often base their self worth upon.

So when kids are trying out for sports, the ones who aren’t affected by not being picked (yay for them) their esteem is coming from a different place or they have inherent self esteem (and that’s awesome). But they’re not the ones I’m talking about. For all the kids—maybe your kids—maybe you’re watching your children go through this, this could be what they are going through.

Did they not achieve? Did someone not approve of them? Or did they not have the “best” or “correct” or “right” attribute? All of these can come into play and may be why they are devastated.

And the solution is:

“I have inherent worth because I was born.”

“Nothing I say or do adds to nor detracts from my worth.”

“I am enough and I matter. Period.”

These are all the antidotes to all of those possible outside sources of self esteem.

On the flip side, if they do make the team, have a great time with it and celebrate!

Remember if you haven’t already, you can get my free printable pocket guide to Healthy Self Esteem and Decision Making at yourdecisiondiva.com so you can reference all the sources in the EASA lens and the antidote affirmations to bring yourself back to your Healthy Center of Self Esteem.