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Dropouts in Youth Sports: Causes and Prevention Strategies


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A brief analysis of the rate of dropouts in youth sports, causes for these dropouts, and strategies to prevent these dropouts from occurring.

Published in: Sports, Technology

Dropouts in Youth Sports: Causes and Prevention Strategies

  1. 1. Causes and Prevention Strategies forCoachesSean Lewis
  2. 2. Overview of the PresentationReasons for it and strategies to prevent it• Start with dropout statistics and importance of prevention• Expand on the main reasons of youth drop out• Provide coaching strategies to prevent dropout• Suggest any areas of future research
  3. 3. Why do children start playing sport?• Make new friends?• Play with existing friends?• Most of all, to have FUN!
  4. 4. Dropout Rates and Reasons to Prevent itWestern Australian School Children in 199680% 11-12 year olds play sport57% of 16-17 year olds play sport42% of dropouts occurred between year 7-8In the US in 2010 over 20 million children register for sportsBy age 13, 70% of these kids have stopped playingStudy by Ronald Woods in 2005 states that children’s sport is at anall time high, 10-17 year olds at 59%Over 70% of participants drop out before high school
  5. 5. Dropout Rates and Reasons to Prevent it• Linked to a decreased rate of school dropout when participating in sport• Linked to better grades• Diminishes the growing obesity epidemic
  6. 6. Causes of youth sport dropouts"If children go • Coaches play a critical role in retention and dropoutpractice, perform painfuldrills, and improve theirskills, but have no fun, andif the coach constantly • Mostly due to negativehammers at their experiences, a slow cost/benefit situationmistakes, after a while theyare going to think, do Ireally want to be here?".Thomas Tutko, Sport Psychology Professor, San Jose • Programming models set byUniversity, California coaches facilitate dropouts
  7. 7. Causes of youth sport dropoutsThe top 10 reasons for quitting the sport.Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University Boys Girls1. I was no longer interested. 1. I was no longer interested.2. It was no longer fun. 2. It was no longer fun.3. The sport took too much time 3. I needed more time to study.4. The coach played favourites. 4. There was too much pressure5. The coach was a poor teacher. 5. The coach was a poor teacher.6. I was tired of playing. 6. I wanted to participate in other non-sport activities.7. There was too much emphasis on winning. 7. The sport took too much time.8. I wanted to participate in other non-sport activity. 8. The coach played favourites.9. I needed more time to study. 9. I was tired of playing.10. There was too much pressure. 10. Games and practices were scheduled when I could not attend.
  8. 8. Coaching Strategies to PreventDropout• 4 of the top 5 reasons for youth sport drop out was related to lack of interest/fun and bad coaches• Therefore coaches job to emphasise fun• Some studies suggest that that children like competition• Most recent studies suggest it as a large factor of sport drop out
  9. 9. Coaching Strategies to PreventDropoutCoaching children and adolescents should focus on three things - Fun and enjoyment - Encourage and praise effort not result - Skill progressionReduce emphasis on competition
  10. 10. Coaching Strategies to PreventDropoutMastery Approach to Coaching - Emphasises maximum effort and improving skills - Focus on techniques for providing positive reinforcement - Encourage effort, Frank Smoll Ph.D. & Ronald Smith Ph.D. demonstrate how to prevent or fix mistake
  11. 11. Coaching Strategies to PreventDropoutPass, Catch, Kick, Tackle - Developed byDigisport, Australian RugbyLeague Foundation - Multimedia CD-ROM with over 165 different skill activities and games - Main focus for games is fun and enjoyment
  12. 12. Coaching Strategies to PreventDropout• Studies shown that programmed model/rigid training regimes facilitate drop outs• Children and youth athletes should be encouraged to do additional extra curricular activities
  13. 13. Future Research Directions• Did the child change sport?• Drop from two to one sports?• Continue with some other form of aerobic exercise?• Up to date population based data of Australian children and adolescents.• Did the child return to sport?• At what age and how long for?
  14. 14. Conclusion• Youth dropout rates in sport is a significant problem• Can be narrowed to a small age group where dropout is especially prevalent• Need to place greater emphasis on fun, effort, skill development, other activities• Less on competition and winning• Likely to see large improvements in retention rates among youth sports