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Why Kids Quit Sport – A Sobering Thoughts For All Coaches. If you are coaching young children, think on about the priority of winning.
My mind went through all the reasons this might be happening: burnout, other interests, team dynamics, I was too hard on her, the gamut. What could it be?
“It’s my dad. He loves me and I know he only wants the best for me, but he just can’t stop coaching me, in the car, and from the sideline each and every game. I can’t play when he is around, and he insists on coming to every game, every road trip, you name it. It’s like it’s more important to him than it is to me.”
Sadly, Kate’s story is a common one. It is a tale about well-intentioned parents whom want nothing but the best for their children. They love their kids; they just don’t always love them in a helpful way.
As I have stated here many times, 70% of children are dropping out of organized sports by the age of 13. Whenever I mention this sad statistic, people come out of the wood work saying that it’s only the kids who aren’t good enough to play that quit. They say it’s an age where school, jobs and other interests take precedence. These things are true and contribute to a part of the dropout rate, but they are not the entire picture.
Sadly, in our current state of youth sports, kids and families are asked to do more and more at younger and younger ages, especially the kids who show early aptitude in a sport. Many of these athletes, our most dedicated and talented ones, burnout and drop out as well.
If you are a parent or a coach, I believe it is critical that we have a good understanding of why kids play, and why they quit. It is also crucial that we have open lines of communication with our athletes, so we can spot some of the red flags and right the ship before it’s too late.
I believe there are five main reasons kids walk away from sports, and they all boil down to one common denominator: they cause kids to have a poor state of mind when it comes to sports. I hope you will look at each one of these scenarios and ask yourself “Is this my child?” If the answer is yes, then it is never too late to act and make a change.
The #1 reason kids quit is because sports is no longer fun. In a 2014 study for George Washington University, researcher Amanda Visik interviewed numerous youth athletes and asked them why they played sports, and 9 out of 10 said the #1 reason they played was it was fun!