WASHINGTON — Studies have documented a drop in the rates of children participating in team sports.
George Washington University Associate Professor Amanda Visek’s research links the problem to the fun factor of playing sports.
“The number one reason why kids play is because it’s fun, and the number one reason they drop out is because it’s not fun anymore,” Visek says.
The fun for kids is diminished when parents and coaches are too focused on winning, Visek says. She adds the professionalization of children’s sports is problematic in that it puts pressure on kids to achieve.
Visek used children’s answers about what they like about team sports to create a “fun map.” It’s a tool she says can be used by parents and coaches to keep practices and competition fun, and keep kids in the game.
“We know from sports science research that parents are a huge influencing factor on a child’s experience,” Visek says.
Click here to view Visek’s study.