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You and Your Health

New Survey Reveals Kids Crave More Fun In Youth Sports

New Survey Reveals Kids Crave More Fun In Youth Sports

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84% say They Quit or Wanted to Quit

1/3 Wish Parents Weren’t Watching

Our local youth sports leagues, coaches and parents need to have a serious time out to think about how they can bring fun back to youth athletic programs.

In a new national survey of children, ages 8-14, who play team sports:

  -84% say they sometimes wish they had more fun when playing youth sports

  -84% say at one time they quit a team or wanted to quit. Why? 47% say because “it wasn’t any fun.” 29% say some teammates were mean. 23% say there were too many practices that interfered with other activities.

  -31% wished adults weren’t watching their games –  they say mostly because adults yell too much, are too distracting, make players nervous and put pressure on them to play better and win.

The survey of 300 children, ages 8 – 14, was commissioned by the non-profit arm of i9 Sports, the nation’s first and fastest growing youth sports franchise.

The survey also reveals:

  -When asked their #1 reason for playing sports, 56% say to have fun.

  -When asked how they feel if their team loses, 63% say they still have fun.

  -42% of children surveyed would rather play video games than play sports. Why? 74% of those who chose video games say gaming is more fun than playing sports. 28% say sports can be too competitive. 20% say their coach doesn’t let them play as much as they want to so they’d rather play a video game. 17% say they feel too much pressure to win.

  -1 in 5 children have witnessed a physical fight between players. 59% have seen a verbal fight between players and 36% have seen a verbal fight between parents.

  -61% say they or their team mates have been called a “not so nice” name while playing sports.  Those comments include: “loser,” “midget,” “four eyes,” “you suck buffalo butt and throw like a girl,” “lazy and fat,” “you suck and shouldn’t be on the team,”  and one child writes “one time I was called a slow poke and made fun of for running slow and a girl came up behind me while I was at the water fountain and pushed my head and I hit my head on the fountain.”  (there are expletives we chose not to include but will give you upon request)

  -When asked who called them names, 69% say it was someone on the other team. 35% say it was a teammate. 12% say it was someone else’s parent. One child wrote in “a teacher.” Another child wrote in“the team mom.”

“This survey clearly shows that America needs to reevaluate youth sports which have become too cut throat and competitive and not much fun,” says Brian Sanders, COO and President of i9 Sports, with 500,000 members at 275 locations in 26 states. “We forget sports are teaching tools for life. Kids are learning behaviors picked up by teammates, coaches and parents. We need to be better teachers. We need to let kids have fun. ”