Well, you know, that around the age of late teens such as 17 years of age, you are beginning to sort out who you are as a person. Please remember that your brain does not stop growing until around the mid 20s. So, right now is the time to nurture your personality. I used to be involved in sports in high school. I was not very good. In fact, I had a difficult time remembering which end of the court was ours and which end belonged to the competition. I wanted to play sports because it seemed like "fun" and you got to be involved in a group activity. I soon turned away from it partly because of the coach who had what we called a "Suck it up, Princess" attitude and that no matter what you did (unless you were one of her three star players), well, it was never good enough. At one game, and this was just be accident, I got the winning basket. My coach told me I must be Irish because that was the luckiest shot she had ever seen. What she did not know was that I had been practicing hours a day to try to improve to get her approval. After that, I lost all interest in playing competitive team sports. I did go on, however, and take up tennis (individual). In that way, whether I won or lost, it did not matter. I slowly moved away from competitive sports (first, because I was not very good and second because I like to have fun --- there is nothing wrong with competition if that is what you want, but it was not for me. I preferred to work with kids who were just out for the fun of the game. Probably why I went into teaching and specialized with students who were having academic difficulties. I figured that everyone can improve to the best of their abilities but there is little to be achieved in comparing apples and oranges --- we all have our different skill specialties and, for me, the point was to strengthen all skills and focus on where the student's interests and strengths were). All of this to say . . . everyone is good at something but everyone is not good at everything.
You are in a bind because you are an athlete and your Dad won't let you quit. I am taking a guess here but perhaps your Dad's own sense of pride is in your accomplishments which is not good for either of you from my perspective. Depending on your Dad's philosophy, he is probably trying to teach you that it is not good to quit anything that you have started especially if he perceives that you "should" be good at something. Parents often seek their validation as a parent through their children. I am sure that your Dad feels that he is teaching you to follow through on tasks but right now, I don't think this is the issue. I think the issue is your own concept of your self-value which is way more important.
I can well understand why you hate your life. At 17 you are still living decisions that you have not made which is frustrating. Your family support system, for whatever reason, is keeping you in a situation that is demoralizing to you and you have few, if any, options. My best advice would be to approach your therapist to help you to intervene on your behalf. Perhaps you, Mom, and Dad need to see the therapist together so that Mom and Dad recognize that this is a health issue that their son is experiencing. Your parents need to realize that what you will not simply grow out of what you are experiencing. Having said that, please do not be too hard on your parents. Their own backgrounds and experiences condition their reactions, so they probably feel that they are doing what is best for you. For that reason, sometimes direct intervention on their part with your therapist might help them to understand. Your parents also have a vested interest because once you turn 18 and you are legally an adult (at least I am assuming that is the legal age), you will be free to make your own decisions and these decisions may be of greater significance than simply staying and playing baseball with coaches who are more vested in winning than in how they win. So, they should want you to have a great grounding in decision-making so that you can make informed decisions. You may make decisions that don't work out but that is how we learn. We look at a situation; have skill sets to make an informed decisions considering costs and consequences; and then make the decision that we feel is best suited to us. They should want you to have those skills as you enter adulthood.
From my experience, you cannot control anxiety but you can develop strategies to manage it. At 17, this is a key time to deal with these issues before they become entrenched. Your feelings of depression, frustration, etc. are normal as are the ways your body responds (by the way, regardless of any "macho" theory, crying is an excellent release for anxiety because it is your body's way of shedding some of the frustration).
I do not think that you are trying to get anyone to feel sorry for you. To come to a forum, to put yourself forward by describing your issues, to be honest in presenting yourself takes great courage and insight. You have all the makings of a fantastic adult who is in need of guidance and support for a health issue. Do not give up despite the obstacles. Do not feel defeated (yes, harder to do than to say) because you are only defeated if you retreat from reaching out and you have done the opposite . . . you have embraced the process and you are doing it under difficult conditions. Do not hate yourself. In fact, you should congratulate yourself that you are not simply going through the motions to make others happy and trying to suppress your feelings. You know that there is an issue and you are going after a solution. Yes, it is a process; and yes, it may require you to make some difficult decisions when you reach the legal age, but you have to remember that this is your life and you want to live it. Your strong in body and you are working hard to become strong in mind and you will succeed.
Right now, it is tough going . . . come here as often as you would like . . .we may not have the answers but we can support you and yes, whether we are 17 or 71, we know about anxiety and even though how anxiety manifests itself is different for each of us, we know that it can be managed . . . we learn from each other and we have learned from you . . . so I hope to see you back here whenever you feel like checking in . . . in the meantime, try using some mindfulness techniques . . . check out tape #6 at http://www.selftherapy.org/stop-anxiety-panic-attacks.php
---- it's free to listen to online . . .. but remember, you are always welcome here and we really appreciate that you take the time to share your experiences . . . it makes each of us stronger to know of the different ways anxiety is triggered . . . take care, KC