Survey: Kids Want Fun in Youth Sports, Will Quit Otherwise

Is winning important in youth sports? i9 Sports recently released the results of a nation-wide survey of 300 kids. See what they had to say.

i9 Sports, the fastest growing youth sports league in the country, released a study recently giving out some major insights as to what kids think about youth sports, why they quit, and what they see on the fields.

What i9 Sports preaches on the field was proven in the study: Having fun is the most important thing to kids when they play youth sports, and when they quit, the main reason is that they weren’t having fun.

Across the state and country, many coaches and parents are under the assumption that the most important thing to children as they play youth sports is winning. However, out of 300 children across the country surveyed, almost half said they quit because they weren’t having fun.

Also, when asked what the most important thing is in a youth sports program, less than 10 percent said that winning was the most important thing. It goes to show you that all kids want t do is play the sport, learn the sport, and have fun while playing.

Setting a good environment is the most important thing in a youth sports program. Do parents yell at the kids or the ref? Do the kids trash talk with each other? Do coaches scream at officials and their team? If so, you have a recipe for disaster! Children notice these things, and are very likely to quit (almost 90 percent surveyed said they either quit or wanted to quit a team).

You’ve seen the YouTube clips of coaches fighting each others, kids, the refs, other parent, etc. To some extent, this happens every day at youth sports leagues!  

At i9 Sports, we make sure parents (who sign a parental pledge outlining what we expect from them) coaches and referees all know what we expect out of them. By laying out the “ground rules” with everyone, it gives the kids a different type of youth sport program.

Kids play sports to have fun. It’s that simple. If they don’t have fun, they will quit.

Matt Elder owns and operates i9 Sports, a youth sports league in Marlborough and Framingham. Their flag football and cheerleading program is taking registrations for its spring season, and plays every Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon, where they have a practice and a game all in the same day. It's a great, safe alternative to tackle football. Visit www.i9sports.com today for more details

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Josh Gray April 02, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Is winning important? Readers on Facebook are having an interesting debate. Post your thoughts here in the comments!
Aimee Blair Federico April 02, 2012 at 07:23 PM
It's about teaching children to be the best at whatever they are involved in. To give 100% of yourself so that, when the game is over, you can hold your head high no matter what the scoreboard reads. If nobody ever wins and nobody ever loses, then why bother to try at all? Vince Lombardi once said, "Winning isn't everything, but striving to win is." We do our kids no favors by letting them win or by not keeping score. Obviously, age is a factor here and I understand that a bunch of 3 year olds aren't too concerned with a scoreboard. However, as our kids get older, it's our job as parents to prepare them for life. Let's face it, life doesn't give a rat's behind if you're not having fun or if you're bummed out because you lost at something. Life keeps moving forward, with or without you. Both of my children are involved in youth sports and, win or lose, we always ask if they tried their best. If the answer is yes, then stand up tall and move on with your day knowing that you gave it your all. A good coach should help to instill posiitve attitudes in his/her players. Nothing worse than a cocky kid with a bad attitude. We should be teaching our children about healthy competition and preparing them for the real world where not everyone is a winner and there are days that you will feel like a loser, but that doesn't mean you get to quit life.


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