Parents: Are You Over Thinking Fun In Youth Sports?
Parents always want the best for their children, and there’s no exception when it comes to involving them in sports. Youth sports are a great way to keep kids active while engaging in something fun.
Unfortunately, Michigan State University researchers found that not all children are enjoying themselves; approximately 70% of children quit sports by age 13 because they’re not having fun.
Parents with children in this predicament are left with two options: keep their children involved in youth sports and hope things become “fun” overtime, or help their children explore other, potentially “more fun” activities. Overwhelming childhood obesity statistics often leave parents desperately trying to find ways to keep youth sports fun.
A recent study conducted in the Washington area came up with what they believe to be the “81 fun-determinants of sports” which include being a good sport, trying hard, and positive coaching. The findings stressed the importance of using these attributes to help keep kids in sports for the physical and educational benefits associated with it.
According to an article by Forbes, not all kids are quitting because they’re not having fun; many have commitments that force them to give up sports for other activities they’re involved in. Others may feel pressured by their parents, coaches, and/or the overall organized youth sports environment.
Children all have different interests, and if they don’t like sports, they shouldn’t be forced to; there are plenty of other activities for kids to get involved in. Children who do like sports may have more fun in a less competitive league.
For example, many youth sport clubs offer the choice of playing at an intramural level or during a summer camp for those who would rather play more recreationally.
All in all, it’s important for parents to take a step back and look at the big picture: it’s about the kids. Talking to your children about their likes and dislikes is ultimately the best way to ensure they’re having fun.