I'm always telling her, "you have to set a good example, you have to show the younger girls how to behave, LISTEN when the coach is talking to you, sit STILL!" Etc. Like I said, she's doing better, the coach has given her more responsibility which seems to help.
She is good, she could be GREAT at baton, she could walk on the floor and take first every time. BUT! she's lackadaisical about it. Last night she was practicing her solo and she was dropping stupid stuff, REALLY easy passes, tosses, stuff I can do, and I never did baton at all, just watched her. She's been doing baton for 3 years now and nearly every week has a half hour private lesson, I don't want to see her drop this easy stuff when she practices. It IRRITATES me! It's all because she's not paying attention, not focusing on what she's doing, busy looking around the gym to see what the other team is doing. She catches the harder stuff because she HAS to pay attention or it will hit her in the head.
So last night I called her over to talk to her, after she was getting an attitude because I kept correcting her on the way she was doing something. I told her(remember she's 8), "I'm getting really tired of seeing you drop the easy stuff, and I'm REALLY NOT going to tolerate an attitude. After I've paid for private lessons for 3 years, AND teams, and costumes, and driving all over MI and OH to go to competitions, AND entry fees, I sit here and watch you drop a pass that ANY girl on your team could do, and probably learned the first day. You can LOSE The attitude and get out there and practice right! If you want to practice all mamby pamby and act like a doofus, then I'd be happy to not pay entry fees for solo and you can just do teams like everyone else. Don't you want to take 1st place?!"
To which she stated/asked w/ attitude:"I thought it was all about having fun?"
Damn IT! She nailed me, I do say that to her a lot, "I don't care how you place just have fun". SHIT!
So I come back w/ "It is about having fun, but isn't it fun to win, and progress than to just stay the same? You say you love doing baton but I have to nag(force) you to practice, and nag you to do it right, and frankly I'm not getting my money's worth, this is NOT what I'm paying for. Maybe we need to quit baton if this is how it's going to be, because I'm tired. I DON'T care how you place if you did your best, but are you really doing your best?"
Now her tune changed,"No Mom...I want to do it"
Me, " then you better straighten up and fly right!" (Damn I didn't think I'd ever say those words, Mother!)
Maybe I'm a class A jerk for getting that tough on an 8 yr old, but it's because I see some of the behaviors of the older girls who think they are entitled to competitions and all that goes w/ it, and act like it. I don't want her to turn into one of them. Also I don't want to spend all this time, energy and money if she's only lukewarm about competing. That's fine, anytime she wants to quit solos and just do teams, GREAT! I can do that. Hell if she wants to quit teams, I have to admit I'd miss the great folks I've met and wouldn't see very often, but ok. She's told me that she wants to twirl for a college when she grows up(her coach's daughter is the feature twirler for Western's band, that's where she gets the idea), ok great, but she(coach's daughter) didn't get there by being half-assed about it! If you're gonna do it, lets do it. Not half-ass it and decide that watching some rerun on Disney channel for the millionth time is more important than practicing. Grrrr! Kids!