A driving force of SportsWise is to support and encourage healthy and lasting sport experiences for our youth. This recent article in the Washington Post, “Why 70 percent of kids quit sports by age 13” highlights just how hard and complicated this goal has become. High dropout rates, rising costs for youth sports, and the pressure to specialize earlier are a few key factors mentioned that morph youth sports into a job, as opposed to a valuable learning opportunity for our children. And perhaps what’s most heartbreaking is that so many kids say they’re quitting sports because at a certain point, they’re just not fun anymore.
Quitting Sports at an Early Age
What is of particular concern is the age at which kids are quitting sports. If our children are dropping out of sports at greater rates by the age of 13, what are they doing in the afternoon? We know from research that the hours between 2 and 6 pm are a potentially dangerous window of time for unsupervised adolescents. Substance abuse and premature sexual activity represent a few of the increased risk factors that worry many of us parents. Finding sustainable physical activity opportunities for our older children becomes even more paramount as their opportunities to find a good fit decrease.
We are looking for ways to combat these challenges, and we need your help.
What programs are available for older adolescents in your town?
How are families and communities managing these challenges?
What do you think we should do about the youth sports dropout rate?
How could we make sports more fun for those kids who just want to play?
Given the complexity of this issue, we need to come together to tackle these problems. We don’t have all the answers, so we want to hear from you. Please tell us what you think by leaving a comment.