Posts Tagged ‘quitting sports’

Why Kids quit sports – Cues for Parents

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Why Kids Quit Sports for Parents

* Playing favorites
* Taking kids sports to serious
* Yelling at their kids
* Fighting with other parents
* Fighting with coaches
* Over emphasis on winning
* Making their kids play sports that they do not want to
* Not taking the time to help their kids
* Pressuring kids to much
* Focusing on sports more than their studies

In today’s society children seem to have an endless amount of things they worry about such as: Are my grades high enough? Did I pass the state education test? Are my parents getting a divorce? They even worry about participating in youth sports: What position am I playing? Am I good enough to start? Are my parents coming to the game? Children should not have to worry about whether or not their parents are going to overreact to the outcome of a youth sporting event. Parents cause more children to quit youth sports by yelling at the child, fighting with other parents and/or coaches, and overemphasizing winning. Parents need to realize that winning doesn’t really matter. What matters is whether their child is having fun, learning, and developing new skills. The final score, trophies, or newspaper articles will not make their child any better. They should focus on the process of goal setting and skill development. An integral part of goal setting for young athletes is to have a good support network that includes coaches, teammates, and most importantly parents. Parents can provide positive reinforcement for the effort expended to achieve a goal, the lessons learned along the way, and the outcome of the contest, regardless of the score. Positive reinforcement doesn’t always have to be material rewards. It can be as simple as a pat on the back, a hug, a high five, or even a simple statement recognizing a good effort. Parents can make all the difference in determining whether their child will be involved in youth sports.


* Have realistic expectations
* Ensure the activity is fun
* Make sure they have a social life
* Schoolwork comes first
* Instill internal motivation
* Teach winning is not everything
* Try not to compare them to others
* Encourage after success or failure
* Support your child all of the time
* Monitor the child’s nutrition

Parents need to help children set realistic expectations for youth sports because the child can become overwhelmed with performance stress or anxiety. Also, parents could ask their child some questions before each season: Do you want to play? Are you having fun? Do you enjoy playing? If the child is not enjoying the sport, they are more likely to quit indefinitely or experience a decline in self-confidence. Next, parents can try promoting social functions other than sports. Children need a life outside of the sporting arena to play with friends, hang out, or just to talk on the phone. Thirdly, a parent can prevent their child from dropping out of sports by teaching ideas that strengthen internal motivation and emphasize that winning is not everything. Instead of emphasizing winning, parents could concentrate on how well their child performed during the game. Teaching that wining is not everything will help promote self worth and self esteem. Next make sure not to compare you child to other players or siblings. Parents should encourage their child after every success or failure, and support him or her at all times. By supporting their child no matter how they perform will teach them to develop a strong sense of self, and in turn improve their skill performance. This will make them confident in their playing abilities. Finally make sure your child has the proper nutrition to keep their body healthy. A healthy child makes a strong athlete.



Questions parents should ask their child before asking who won.

* How did it go?
* Did you have fun?
* Did you play in the game?
* What team did you play?
* When is the next game or practice?

Questions parents should ask themselves

* Is playing sports fun for my child?
* Do I push my child too much?
* Is winning in youth sports really that important?
* Am I a good fan?
* Is the coach competent?
* How can I help?