That makes sense. Thing is, there already is an organized sports team that he wants to be a part of -- basketball! The issue isn't "my son doesn't want sports", it's "my son doesn't want swimming", right?
There is also the issue of investing family resources to watch him sit on the bench. With limited resources in our family and 9 kids to raise, it also becomes a matter of whether it makes sense to transport him back and forth to practice, pay the participation fees and money for shoes and camps, and spend the time sitting in the stands to watch him not play
(remember, his track record over 7 years is one who sits the bench; it's not as if he is on the cusp of a breakthrough season).
Hmm... it seems more like "that person I love has decided not to use his talents in the way I think he should", and that's a completely different discussion. (One that is complicated by the father/teen son dynamic, to be sure, but a different thing than you make it out to be.)
The skillsets are different between basketball and swimming. He doesn't have basketball talent. He has swimming talent. Therefore, it isn't that he isn't using his talents the way I think he should. He isn't using his talents at all. And who is in a better position to judge his talents at this point anyway? And who is still responsible for his well-being? A 14 year-old boy? Or his parents (my wife is 100% in agreement with me)?
This is an awesome approach to the question! How would your son react to a discussion about the parable of the talents? It's coming up again on Sunday, November 13. Would it be too late, at that point, to talk to your son after going to Mass that day? To ask him which talents he's been given by God, and what it means to walk away from those talents? (After all, we don't know why God made him a good swimmer, just that He did, and that He expects him to use those talents, and not bury them.)
I have used this discussion already. And if we didn't have our free and fallen wills standing in the way, the approach would work 100%.
(One thing that hasn't been mentioned: if he's a natural swimmer, he'd still be able to excel if he joined swimming in his sophomore year, wouldn't he?)
Perhaps, but he would start behind the other natural swimmers on his team and in his league who trained/swam in their freshmen year.
We're still in discussion about this with my son and between me and my wife.