I recently ran into an old colleague, just in town. He was shopping with his daughter. Although my old colleague was now well past retirement age, we recognized each other immediately.
“Ha Bert, I haven’t seen it for a long time! How are you? His daughter looked at him questioningly.
“You know everyone too!” she said.
Her father laughed.
“But you know Bert too, take a good look, think very deeply!”
The penny fell.
“Oooh yeah, volleyball, the liter of ice trainer for the winner of the ‘table of 10’ at the end of the season!”
“Gosh, Debbie, that you remember!”
“Whahahaha, that you remember my name!”
“Yes what do you want, I have not often encountered nice trainers who could also give very nice training.”
Debbie was, 38 years ago, in the very first team that I trained and also the first team with whom I won a championship and what a championship! At the end of the season we were 46 points apart from the number 2 and then I don’t even have the difference with the number last. Debbie couldn’t remember. Memory, a strange phenomenon. Our memory is selective and that’s a good thing. If we remembered everything, we would go crazy. The championship was important to me. I still have a scrapbook somewhere with an article with the final score.
Why children like sports
A team of researchers from Michigan State University (2012) asked boys and girls aged 10 to 12 why they exercise.
The 5 main reasons why children exercise are:
This research showed that fun is especially important. My main goal at the time, winning the championship, doesn’t make it to the top 5. Winning doesn’t even make it back into the top 10.
Why do children quit sports
A list can also be made there:
While fun is the main reason why children play sports, it turns out that the lack of fun is the main reason to quit. It’s also the main reason why kids trying out a new sport don’t go through with it. Too great an emphasis on performance is the most important reason for dropping out for young top athletes (Jacques van Rossum research). It also turned out that athletes who practice an individual sport and stop their sport sometimes start practicing another sport. In which athletes who practice a team sport often stop sport.
Also, don’t underestimate the role of the parents. In addition to the pressure from the trainers, it appears that parents also put a lot of pressure on performance. It appears that especially fathers do not realize their own behavior when exerting pressure to perform.
Another reason to quit sports is the skill, the feeling of not being good enough. The club plays a role in this. I wrote about this in an earlier story: The team that deserves you. However, parents also have an important role. Research into girls’ perseverance in sports showed that where girls were engaged and lovingly supported by parents, they reached a higher level. A final reason why athletes quit sports is simply lack of time. Everyone knows it, players who cancel because they are in the middle of a test week or the exam. In the story entitled Homework I already wrote that as a trainer you would do well to start a conversation about this. Although missing training is at odds with performance, it is good not to be too rigid about this either. Try to deliver customization.