Keeping it Fun Keeps Kids in Sports

Keeping it Fun Keeps Kids in Sports

Seems LeBron James has found out that playing sports in a place you love is much more fulfilling. When LeBron James decided to head back to northeastern Ohio, he declared “It’s where I walked...ran...cried. It holds a special place in my heart.”  Interestingly, LeBron’s decision coincides with a study that shows 70% of kids drop out of organized sports by the time they reach middle school -- and never play again -- because they aren’t having fun.

The kids told researchers that what they wanted from their experiences were team members who were good sports; a focus on playing your best; and good coaching.

So to keep your kids physically active and interacting with friends (it fights obesity, boosts self-confidence, and improves grades) we suggest:

  1. Help them find sports/activities they like by being aware of what kids can do -- emotionally, physically, and socially -- at different stages and ages.
  2. Help them set attainable goals that build confidence.
  3. Find a coach who can motivate (not intimidate) kids, so they enjoy playing their best.
  4. And teach your kids at nine what it took LeBron 29 years to learn: What matters isn’t just whether you win or lose, it’s how (well, fairly, and with whom) you play the game. That’s the real fun. 

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

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