Studies have shown that a lot of kids gave up sports at the young age of 11 and this is worrying because this is the time when they should be developing healthy habits like getting active and fit. If you are wondering why your kid may be quitting sports, please read this post on 10 reasons why kids stop playing sports.
We all know that when kids are not active it can lead to obesity and other unhealthy consequences later in life.
Below I am going to discuss some of the reasons kids abandon sports and offer some solutions to help you.
If you are one of the parents facing this problem, follow me as I dive into the topic.
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1. Not Having Fun
One main reason for kids leaving sports is that it is no longer fun and enjoyable to participate in.
Kids play sports because of all the fun things they anticipated to do when they participate.
However, when it is no longer the case, they stopped playing and turn their attention to something else.
- A repetitive training method that becomes boring because there is no creativity to keep the kids engaged.
- Not using age-appropriate training drills which is difficult for them to do. For e.g. trying to perform advanced-level drills designed for youths or adults.
- Use age-appropriate training
- Include fun in the training
- Use colorful training equipment. For example, colorful cones and balls
- Breakup training into short sessions and breaks
2. Excessive Criticism
Some parents are obsessed with perfection and do not want their kids to perform poorly in training and games.
And if their kid makes any mistakes they will be criticized in front of their teammates or at home.
The kid will feel threatened, entrapped, and afraid to disappoint his or her parents and it is becoming a chore for him or her to play.
Coaches and teammates can also criticize the kids, and not only the parents.
- High expectations from parents, coaches, and teammates
- The club needs to focus on a friendly playing environment for kids
- Parents need to understand that the kid is still learning and should help in improving their kids’ performance
3. Not Getting Along With The Coach
The coach is the person the kids look up to for instructions, motivation, and inspiration.
If they don’t get along with the coach they will not want to attend training and games.
It could be that the coach yells at the kid or treats the kid differently from the others.
Coaches are humans and they can be biased sometimes.
- The coach is not qualified to deal with kids
- The coach might not have good communication skills or maybe an impatient type of person
- Politely talk to the coach and administrators during parent-coach meetings
- Find a different club
Related: How To Coach Soccer To 5-Year-Olds
4. Parental Pressure
Kids forced to play a sport they don’t like will very likely quit or will never perform better even if they stick with it throughout the season.
These parents set high standards that they expect their kids to perform at and if they fail there will repercussions back home.
There are instances where kids pressured into sports they do not like can develop a toxic relationship with their parents even into adulthood.
- Living the parents’ dreams. Kids are forced to play the parent’s favorite sport
- Parents want their kid to earn a college scholarship through sports
- Winning at all cost attitude by parents
- Parents need to respect their kid’s choice of sport
- Parents need to understand that their attitude can have a negative long term effect on their kid
5. Not Enough Time
Some kids may find it difficult to balance their time with homework, hobbies, and sports.
Other kids may find that there is so much to do and they cannot cope with the overload of activities.
But the reality is that they feel they don’t have time for sports.
As kids grow older their interest may shift from sport to other things like music, etc.
- Overload with activities
- Choosing homework (school) over sports
- Change of interest
- Talk and listen to your kid
- Offer alternative choices but it must not be more time for playing computer games because it is not healthy
6. Sport-Related Injuries
Sports injuries can put a kid out of the game for the whole season if not properly managed.
One common type of injury is an overuse injury. It is caused by trauma to the muscles and joints due to repetitive exercise and movements.
Also, returning to sport too early without proper recovery will also result in the same injury occurring again.
These sports-related injuries can force the kid to re-think if playing sports is worth it
- Kids not wearing proper safety gear
- Wrong training and technique errors
- Parents and coaches not giving the kid enough recovery time
- Prevent injuries by wearing proper sports safety gear
- Coaches and trainers must be certified in order to provide the correct training methods
- The kid must rest properly when injured according to the doctor’s advice
- Introduce multi-sports to your kid
Burnout is a result of physical and mental exhaustion experienced by an athlete that will result in declining performance and increased stress.
When kids are put through rigorous training with less recovery time they will be exposed to overuse injuries and frustrations.
This causes the kid to lose the fun and enjoyment they were expecting in the first place and eventually quit sports altogether.
- High competition causes players to train harder
- High expectations from the kid, parents, and coaches
- Frustration from investing so much in training but little to show for
- Take a 30-day or more break from the sport
- Try a different sport next season
- Seek doctor’s advice on stress management
- Listen to the kid’s feedback and respect his or her decision
8. Not Given Play Time
I personally experienced this when I was a kid.
I would sit on the bench most of the time to watch other kids play and have fun.
I know that I am not a star player but I deserved my fair share of playing time because I trained just as hard as everyone else.
One day I decided that enough is enough and quit attending training and games completely.
Fortunately, there are other sports I can join, and feel my participation is appreciated.
- The coach is not qualified to train kids
- The team is overcrowded with too many players so everyone is getting less playing time
- The coach is more concerned about winning so he or she only field the best players
- Talk to the coach and administrators about the issue
- Find a different club
- Enroll in a private training session or online courses
Bullying in sport is a major problem and it can lead to kids abandoning the sport if it is overlooked by the coach and administrators.
The following statistics were obtained from Childhelp:
- 40-50% of athletes have experienced harassment and severe abuse in their sport of choice
- 4% of young athletes reported physical abuse from the coach
- 8% of coaches acknowledged encouraging athletes to hurt opponents
- 33% yelled at teammates for making mistakes
- 20% made fun of a teammate with limited skills
- Athletes are responsible for more sexual harassment of their peers than coaches
- Abuse occurs in all sports
- Speak to the coach and administrators, there should be an anti-bullying policy in every club.
- Talk to the kid if he or she is a victim
10. Financial Constraints
According to the Aspen Project Play, the following are the yearly average cost of sport participation:
- Traveling – $196
- Equipment – $144
- Private lessons – $134
- Registration fees – $125
- Camps – $81
Traveling cost is the highest, followed by equipment, private lessons, registration fees, and camps.
Ice hockey is the most expensive sport costing parents an average of $2583 per year alone!
The sad reality is that some kids stopped playing because their parents cannot afford these costs.
The most affected are kids from lower-income homes.
- Sport becomes very expensive and parents cannot afford
- Choose recreational sports
- Train at home to reduce some expenses
- Sports like skateboarding and bicycling are cheaper and can be done in the backyard and park.
A lot of kids quit sports early because parents and coaches overlooked issues that are affecting them, especially when it comes to listening to their kids.
Parents may believe that what they are doing is benefiting their kids without realizing that it is producing the opposite results.
Unfortunately, sports can be expensive for some parents but the main important thing is physical activities can be done in the backyard and parks for free.
All the reasons above pointed to one single common factor, and that is FUN.
Does your kid want to quit sports? Let me know the reasons in the comments below.