Why Kids Burn Out on Youth Sports
I recently read some interesting and even concerning data regarding kids and sports from Project Play at the Aspen Institute. According to a 2019 survey, the average child today spends less than three years playing a sport, then quits at age eleven. There are a variety of reasons for this. Two of the main reasons are economics and relationships. On the economic side, youth sports are just getting way too expensive for many families to afford, especially those that are low-income families. For other kids, it’s the pressure to perform and excel that comes from parents and coaches, oftentimes through yelling and poor sideline behavior. One physical activity that did pick up during the pandemic was bike riding, which used to be a daily occurrence for kids. Twelve percent of parents said their child tried riding a bicycle for the first time during the pandemic. Parents, we need to pull back on the pressure and teach our kids that sports are to be played, and that play is to be fun.