Sports Aren’t Enough Fun for Kids, Survey Reveals [AUDIO]
According to a new national survey of children ages 8 to 14, youth sports aren’t as fun as they used to be, and adults may be to blame.
An overwhelming majority of children (84%) said they wish they had more fun when playing in local youth sports leagues. The same percentage admitted they quit a team at one point, or at least wanted to. Why? Nearly half said because “it wasn’t any fun.” More than half of the children surveyed (56%) said the number one reason for playing sports is to have fun, and a higher percentage said they still have fun even after a loss.
The survey was commissioned by the non-profit arm of i9 Sports, the nation’s first youth sports franchise.
“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,” the i9 survey claimed.
More than 30% of children wished adults weren’t watching their games because they yell too much, make them nervous and put pressure on them to win.
“Too often, (adults) start off with the best intentions, but somewhere along the way, we lose our balance and we start focusing on our own competitive needs,” explained Steve Cox, an i9 Sports franchise owner. “I think we forget these kids are here to have fun.”
Of the 61% of kids who said they were called a “not so nice” name while playing sports, 12% said the name-calling came from someone else’s parent.
Cox commented, “That’s terrible, and there’s no place for that in youth sports today.”
Meanwhile, 36% of children said they’ve witnessed a verbal fight between parents. Close to 60% witnessed a verbal fight between players.
“This survey clearly shows that America needs to reevaluate youth sports, which have become too cut throat and competitive, and not much fun,” said Brian Sanders, COO and President of i9 Sports. “Kids are learning behaviors picked up by teammates, coaches and parents.”
Sanders and Cox agreed, parents need to be better teachers and just let kids enjoy themselves.
Over Memorial Day Weekend, a parent punched a coach in the face during a Manalapan soccer tournament. A few weeks prior, an umpire attacked a coach in Piscataway, making him bleed.