Top 5 Reasons Kids Play Sports

You want your child to be active and to have fun. Research shows that’s exactly what they want too.

A Michigan State University study by the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports asked boys and girls aged 10 -12 why they played sports. Here are the top five reasons they gave:

  1. To have fun.
  2. To do something I’m good at.
  3. To improve my skills.
  4. To stay in shape.
  5. To get exercise.

Surprise, “winning” didn’t even make it into the top 10 reasons!  Study after study comes up with the same #1 result. Kids play sports for the fun of it.

Not having fun is one of the major reasons 70 percent of kids quit playing sports by the time they’re 13.  Most often it’s parents and coaches who want to win. Kids hardly care. For them, winning is just icing on the cake. They’re focused on simpler things.  Even at the high school level, most kids would rather play on a losing team than sit on the bench of a winning one. That doesn’t mean that kids don’t value winning, just that they prefer playing.  The survey found that the decision to quit had  less to do with the boy's or girl's own skills - or lack of skills, but more with pressure from adults acting as if each game was the seventh game of the World Series, and the child's need to preserve a positive self-image.  Seems pretty simple, if you want children to play sports, all you have to do is make sure they are having fun!! 


Washington Post Article