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How can we keep children in sport ? | Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Home » Groups » Coaching Children (Ages 5-12) » Forum » All other coaching children topics » How can we keep children in sport ?
Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Posted in: All other coaching children topics

How can we keep children in sport ?

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  • Archery_Dave

    Hi Guys I am looking to write a paper on the following subject.:-

    Young children generally find sport fun and a natural part of life.  By the age of 18 few children are actively engaged in sport.  suggest ways in which participation in sport can be maintained. 

    I am interested in your thought on this matter.  Any comments would be greatly received.

  • tonylibert

    So I live in a small metro area-300,000 people- ion the small section we grew up in sports were kind of a figure it out thing. The city supplied the park ball diamonds and hockey rinks our parents signed us up and we played. Forty years on and the group that lived that life are the local parent coaches and are 8 coaches in 3 sports at 3 high schools on this side of town. We teach/ facilitate play. That's how it was for us that's how it is for our kids. No pros no contracts but a lot of healthy adults and happy kids. The city just cancelled adult baseball this year and my 54 yr old brother was 49 yrs as a local athlete with the city rec leagues. That's how you keep athletes

    1. Provide the space

    2. Keep it cheap

    3. Keep it play

    4. Keep it going

  • Diddyditri

    Recognise the transitions these teenagers are going through with their education, finding a job, exams etc. And find ways to make activity social first to attract participants back into sport

  • tonylibert

    Old guy here, my little brother is on his 50th consecutive year of recreational sport. I am 1 up. What went so right for us? Availability and access are the 2 biggest things we live in a community where playing a game is part of life. No pro sports around and lots of school teams. I would not say our coaches were great, all yell and tell guys. Almost all parents were passive and none stayed for practice. Little in way of schemes or plays. As for extracurricular practice  or one on one, never. All sports in season until 16 when we started making USA hockey camps, and then it was just a couple weeks at Colorado springs training facility. We had to miss baseball for it. Oh almost forgot we have 8 brothers and sisters and all are still active save one(the smoker of the bunch) that beating you took or gave at home might help with good natured competitiveness. To have life long players we need to engender a lot of these qualities. Kids need to learn where the edges are when dealing with others. That's what families did whether uncles, aunts, sisters...  they teach where the lines are in life. If you are looking for reasons that kids walk away from sport look into the pressure to be special or above average. 

    As sport has increased in price adults have commodified play and in doing so have created the feeling that good enough is a quitters mentality. Coach clinics are geared towards rote learning as the quickest return on investment and acting as if players are product. This behavior can be seen in practice when a player is judged out of position regardless of the ball position. In American hockey a saying is popular. If your 3 feet from your spot you're out of position. Brilliant, and he teaches at our highest level. A real story, once sat in a player meeting where he told a 19 yr old if you're not where I tell you to be your done. That night he stepped out of that position to make a play. After that he was a memory, never played again and local coaches started copying. Youth coaches see this behavior as practical after seeing the results, a team that says how high when the coach says jump. 

    A race to the bottom. Many parents see the avaricious nature of youth sport as a problem but find the cost of specialized training prohibitive. We have allowed for the commodification of youth sport with academies and individual coaches in team sport that teach skills without context. This practice has led to kids who are capable of myriad skills but offer little in way of play. Unfortunately our process of creating teams that are tiered according to skill is leaving many kids who just play on the outside. In our area we have AAA High school and youth all competing for the same players and when a player chose AAA we thought of it as addition by subtraction. Scoffers Alert. In 22 years this was always the case, we can stand to lose skill but heart is another matter. In the end the people who played for love of the game, the senior on JV or the all elbows and knees guys that couldn't get out of their own way are the ones playing years later. Now we see only the rich kids, the ones that play year round and can afford a high monetary price. NOTE of all the kids who spent hours at the rink working skills without context, none are still playing locally and 1 is coaching. Of the kids that were multi sport with no specialization well, that's the rest of the coaches here. Stop Race To Bottom

    Last and biggest is for the coaches

    Play, just let them play and have fun. Teach civility, nothing from behind, control what you can control, thank the adults.Create a safe environment, to learn, to fall and get up(did not always do this myself) and to be themselves with their own goofy answers to the problems presented. Love watching them grow up it is amazing if you take the time. If you cannot do these things then maybe this is not the place for you. Coaches are not accountants. kids are not product, and time teaches lessons not you

  • tonylibert

    what are you finding?

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