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Why Children Have Recently Lost Their Inspiration For Sports

Written by on September 4, 2020 in Conscious Parenting, Exercise and Fitness with 0 Comments

Recent years have shown a change in the amount of children who are getting involved with sports and although it isn’t a huge drop, it is a change. Unfortunately, nowadays, children and their families are asked to do more and more at a younger age, especially when it comes to children who show special talent. Many of our most dedicated and talented athletes are overworked and leave the sport by the age of 20. Some don’t have any interest and during these times, sports is such a healthy activity. So what is pushing sports away?

Photo: Unsplash

They are afraid to make mistakes

Excellent athletes are created in environments where they are not afraid to make mistakes, where they are encouraged to try and fail and understand that failure is a necessary part of their development and progress. Coaches and parents who constantly comment, challenge every decision of athletes and shout at athletes who try to do the best they can and ultimately fail, create a fear that drives children away from the sport. Solution: Embrace the “failure” and take risks. All children should not feel bad about failure because it is subjective and really is just a learning curve to ensure that better decisions are made in the future.

Sport ceases to be fun and starts to be a ‘career’

In a study conducted for George Washington University in 2014, researcher Amanda Visik interviewed many young athletes and asked them why they are involved in sports. Nine out of ten answered that the main reason they do it is because they have fun. The kids listed 81 characteristics of fun and while trying to give your best and being treated well by coaches, parents and teammates was considered very important, winning, competing and coaching were not at all high on the list. If your young athletes are not having fun, they will gradually leave, no matter how talented they are and how good their coach or team is. Adults rarely do activities that they do not enjoy. Why do we think our children will? Coaches often put a lot of effort into finding new talent and when it is a sport such as football, only the best must be handpicked to play for the big leagues. Which is why it takes a lot of pressure and dedication to find out who can be sold.

Solutions to ensure the world of sport grows

Statistics show that 70% of children in the United States and the rest of the world drop out of sports by age 13, and at a time when 1/3 of American children are obese, sports should be holding the torch towards a healthier future. During Covid 19, we have seen that obses people have a bigger risk of becoming more unwell and so encouraging sports is vital.

Coaches, parents and all stakeholders have a responsibility to create an environment that serves the needs, values ​​and priorities of children, not just adults. We can make change by better communicating with our children, asking them what they want to gain from sports and making sure this experience belongs to them. We can achieve this by treating them with the respect they deserve and by allowing them to fail so that they can learn and evolve. The world of sport still has a lot to offer but perhaps with a few changes.

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