Why Kids quit sports – Cues for Coaches

Why Kids Quit Sports – Cues for Coaches

* Unrealistic expectations
* Too much pressure
* Not enough rest
* Favoritism
* Negative feedback
* Constant criticism
* Competitive stress
* Bad role models
* No established relationship (unapproachable)
* Inconsistency

Sometimes coaches see an athlete’s potential and get so wrapped up in how good they can become, they forget an athlete needs rest or fair treatment among other team players. A coach needs to be empathetic to each individual athlete and set realistic expectations for them to prevent injury and burn out. A favored athlete is presented with a great deal of stress, and creates resentment among the rest of the team. If your players lose their respect for you as a coach, then it will be much easier for them to quit. A coach should avoid negative feedback at all times. If the athlete senses that no matter what they do, they will be criticized, then they will soon begin to stop trying. Positive feedback at every opportunity will do wonders for an athlete’s self-esteem. A coach must be a positive role model, which requires consistency and the earning of respect from the team players. Establishing a relationship with an athlete’s parents also helps to establish a relationship with the athlete.


* Coaches’ philosophy about winning
* Reactions to desirable behaviors
* Reactions to mistakes
* Misbehavior, discipline, and lack of attention
* Being a role model
* Communication
* Knowledge of the sport
* Motivation
* Empathy
* Expectations of performance

Here are some guidelines that a coach should use in order to prevent kids from quitting sports. A coach should have a healthy philosophy of winning. Winning is neither everything nor the only thing. Reactions to desirable behavior should include positive reinforcement, which includes reinforcing the player’s effort as frequently as possible. Reactions to mistakes must be handled with encouragement rather than punishment. A coach’s reaction to misbehavior, discipline problems, and lack of attention must be established with team rules that are clearly understood by all. Setting a good example as an adult role model will portray organization, leadership, and sportsmanship to a young athlete. Communication in sports as well as in life is more effective when using a positive approach. The positive approach helps athletes value themselves as individuals, and it gives the coach credibility. Knowledge of a particular sport is very important when coaching because the coach must be able to demonstrate, strategize, and conduct practices in a productive manner. In order to keep the concentration and attention of your athletes, motivation from the coach has to come from within. The coach must be willing to commit the time necessary to ensure the success of the team. Empathy in a coach is the ability to readily understand the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of their athletes and convey understanding in a positive manner. Finally, a coach should set realistic expectations and goals for their athletes. It is the coach’s job to make young athletes feel as comfortable as possible and to put them in positions to have fun and to succeed.

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