Food for Thought

Alarm: Children Quit Sports

Burned out soccer playerFrom a 10-year investigation to the sport participation on schools in the U.S.A, showed that 94% of children when growing older, dropped participation in at least one sport.
An overview of the 5 main reasons.

1. Fun
The lack of fun for children is one of the most important reasons to quit a sport. Fun turned out also to be the main reason to continue with a sport in the next 6 to 12 months

2. Performance pressure.
Pressure is an important quitting reason for young elite athletes, often in combination with (over training-) injuries. A key issue for sports academies to find a balance between the pressure to encourage young athletes and how to boost them to a long period to sustain. It turns out also that it makes sense to determine by whom exactly pressure is built up.

3. Parents
A study of youth players showed that more than 50% of the pressure came from parents, coaches, teammates and even their own. It turns out that especially fathers do not realize their own behavior in the exercise of pressure. Children who have experienced too much parental pressure create thereby fear of competition

4. Skill
Skill is an important driver but seems to be more important for as soon as they get older. The feeling ‘ not good enough ‘ is often specified as reason to stop with a sport. Also here is the parental role crucial. A study to the perseverance, found that where they were supported by parents by a concerned and understanding attitude, they reached a higher level.

5. Matching school-sport time
For growing up kids the factor (study) time is every year a greater issue in their lives. This time almost never corresponds with the amount of time required to continue to perform on a particular sport level.

by Dick van Londen
CEO and Keynote speaker at Total Sport Approach BV
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