My son is only 3 but there are days when we have to talk him into playing soccer. We try everything “Honey you can’t quit your team”, “It will be fun” or the dreaded bribe “We can go get ice cream”. So why is my 3 year old already bored with sports?
I recently read an article on familyeducation.com called Why Most Kids Quit Sports. It was really interested and so simple. Did you know that 20 million kids each year register for competitive sports. But according to The National Alliance for Sports, 70% of those kids quit by the age of 13! Wow 70%. And the number one reason is “it stopped being fun.”
So why isn’t sports fun for kids over the age of 13? Could it be because we put too much emphasis on winning or earning a scholarship to college? Possibly! Everyone wants to win, some more than others. But does that make it wrong. I would agree some coaches and parents go overboard in making winning everything, but is it wrong to want to win or earn a scholarship. And doesn’t playing college sports mean you can play professionally one day? Not so fast!
According to the NCAA, only 2% of men’s college players will ever play professional baseball in the U.S! And that is the highest percentage of all sports. 1.7% of college football players will ever play pro, 1.3% of college hockey players will ever play in a professional game and 1.2% of men’s college basketball players will make it big. Wow!!!!
So maybe it’s ok if our kids don’t want to play sports. The odds of making it big are pretty slim. Of course there are a lot of benefits to playing team sports, self esteem, confidence, making friends, learning how to handle life’s joys and disappointments (I could go on). But is it all worth it if your child is not having fun? If my son said to me, Mom I’m not having fun — that would be good enough for me!