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Nt_loader

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Reply with quote  #1 
What are your thoughts for kids that want to quit soccer?  Some may realize sooner rather than later but ultimately we see a big drop off around the age of 12. 

I have a kid now who wants to quit, he hasn't said it with words but its evident in his practice intensity, doing the minimum, not applying himself, not practicing outside of the team practice, etc.  

I just hate to let kids quit but, if they can't motivate themselves, is there anything we can do?  
paulee

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Reply with quote  #2 
I think the big question would be why they want to quit.  There was a study done years ago on why kids quit sports.
1.  no longer fun
2.  they've lost ownership of the experience
3. they don't get playing time
4.  afraid to make mistakes
5.  feel disrespected

If your kid is feeling one of those things, there may be something that you can do, but there may be another reason.  
The Washington Post had this to add:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/06/01/why-70-percent-of-kids-quit-sports-by-age-13/?utm_term=.98dbcd77fbfb

You can read the article, but I'll highlight the main reasons they listed:
It’s not fun anymore because it’s not designed to be
Our culture no longer supports older kids playing for the fun of it
There is a clear push for kids to specialize and achieve at the highest possible level
There is a cost to be competitive and not everyone is willing or able to pay it

To sum up the author's viewpoint, our sports culture is geared towards the top 1% (witness the DA) and that's going to leave the remaining 99% behind, so it's not surprising that you see so many drop out.  Add in our current technology, and that just exacerbates a natural phenomenon.

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benji

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Reply with quote  #3 
I really wish someone would do a study on what they are defining as "fun". I don't think any kid would stick around if they showed up to practice, scrimmaged the whole time with no guidance, and played a game each week where they just got thrown on the field to play. That's not necessarily "fun" either.

Some things about learning, be it soccer or math or a musical instrument, aren't particularly fun. They're basic, rote technical skills. But what those skills enable you to do then becomes more fun if you can perform the skills successfully. Learning new technique or tactics is fun. Activities that have a purpose and engagement are fun. And, yes, winning is fun. "Fun" does not equate to just goofing around.

I dare say that when a kid says it's "not fun", it's a combination of the following--and all are related to coaching:
* Not learning new skills
* Unengaging activities (poorly designed or overly repetitive)
* Poor balance of focus/discipline (either none or overly rigid--relates to paulee's #4 item as well)
* Over- or under-emphasis on winning (we know about too much emphasis, but it's not fun if nobody cares, either)

Now, these things will vary from team to team, and even player to player within a team. We've all seen kids get demotivated or quit because their personal needs don't match the team's. We can do a great job as coaches for many, but not every single kid. It just isn't going to happen.

But the upshot is, "It's not fun" is too broad. Break it down, and I think you can start to see where we can improve the experience.

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Brianm

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Reply with quote  #4 
Benji ever see kids playing pickup games they have tons of fun with no guidance no adults. Ties into what you said about coaching. Just them playing whatever sport they are playing.

Kids also quit because they don't like it as much as other sports or their friends are no longer playing. Maybe they don't like their teammates and feel unwanted. Maybe to much pressure from home.

There are lots of reasons. Some we can address, others we can't. The big thing that we forget is it is their choice if they don't want to play then maybe they will be happier quitting then being talked into staying.

benji

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brianm
Benji ever see kids playing pickup games they have tons of fun with no guidance no adults. Ties into what you said about coaching. Just them playing whatever sport they are playing.

Yup, and they are seeing other players do things, trying to learn new moves and new tricks, learning from each other... instead of just doing what a coach is telling them to, like "pass pass pass get the ball off your foot no don't do that!..." Good coaching will not only teach them skills they don't have, but allow them the freedom to experiment with those skills, even at the risk of a mistake.

Quote:
Kids also quit because they don't like it as much as other sports or their friends are no longer playing. Maybe they don't like their teammates and feel unwanted. Maybe to much pressure from home. There are lots of reasons. Some we can address, others we can't. The big thing that we forget is it is their choice if they don't want to play then maybe they will be happier quitting then being talked into staying.

Yup also. But some of those reasons get rolled up into "it's not fun". It's not fun because my friends aren't on my team. It isn't fun because my parents want me to play but I don't any more. I'm just tired of hearing the number one reasons quit is that "they don't have fun" when it's such a nebulous term that can mean dozens of different things. Just saying "it's not fun" doesn't actually help us identify the things that would make the experience more enjoyable. But in the end, not everyone will stay anyway.

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