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70% of Youth Sports participants drop out by age thirteen, CNN writes

70% of Youth Sports participants drop out by age thirteen, CNN writes

In a lengthy and enlightening piece by Kelly Wallace of CNN, entitled How to make your kid hate sports without really tryingsome new insight on youth sports are revealed and you probably won’t like the answers. From the one-sport mindset to pushy parents afterwards, we highly recommend reading Wallace’s full-piece as it highlights many of the problems we’ve addressed in the past.

However, we couldn’t resist grabbing a couple of our favorite quotes from the illuminating text — but, before we get to that, we ask again: are you a good or bad sports parent? On 70% dropout rate:

“Seventy percent of children leave organized sports by the age 13, according to research by the National Alliance for Sports. Let’s put it this way: If your daughter or son plays on a soccer team, seven out of 10 of the members of that team won’t be playing soccer or any organized sport whatsoever by the time they enter their teenage years.”

This is just sad, where have we failed as a youth sports nation over and over again? Mark Hyman, an author of three books about kids and sports, added a compelling argument into the mix: if 70% of Walmart visitors left and never came back, you’d better believe they’d be changing their model. However, parents, coaches, and leaders across the nation are simply OK with creating situations in which young athletes don’t feel comfortable or happy.

“Our kids get this message from us when we scream on the sidelines — even when they tell us not to — or when we choose to do play- by-play analysis in the car ride home. When O’Sullivan was director of coaching for a number of soccer clubs and he did exit interviews with kids who decided to leave the club, he said one of the saddest things he learned is their least favorite moment in sports was the car ride home after the game, he wrote in a blog post.”

If your athlete made a mistake or didn’t have a game they’d like to remember, it’s incredibly likely that they’ve realized this themselves, but, too often, parents don’t respect this divide. The last thing many athletes want is that play-by-play of everything they’ve done wrong — if they want to talk about it, they will.

Kelly Wallace, CNN — How to make your kid hate sports without really trying

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