There was an article on an Australian news site a while back (no longer available) that looked at the causality of kids dropping out of sports. It started with the statistic that 70% of kids who start a sport give it up by age 13 and never play it again. There are a lot of reasons why this happens. I’m sure you can rattle off several without too much thought.

The one that particular article focused on was parents, though.

In brief, parents are way too personally invested in their children’s sports. Particularly, the ride home afterwards is identified as a major problem area in the child-parent relationship. It’s something coaches of youth players would do well to address with their parent groups.

Now, I will say that in my volleyball experience a lot of kids in some areas get into the sport competitively later than in other sports. That doesn’t mean I haven’t seen and heard about some unfortunate parent behavior at those older age groups, however. And even if the quit rate after age 13 is much lower than the 70% level of before, that doesn’t mean there can’t be negative impacts from how parents interact with their kids regarding their play.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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