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Kids and Sports, how far do you go and is it a good fit?

My 11 year old nephew plays travel baseball.  I don’t mean travel to the nearest baseball field and play a game.  I mean, travel the country every weekend for 12 weeks and play baseball.  Pack up your family and go, every single weekend.  While I respect the decision that the parents of my nephew and every other ball player’s parents to be so involved in this sport, I often wonder if it’s for me.  My husband and I have this conversation every year around the time my nephew starts his fundraising.  Do we really want our kids to be this involved in sports?  I was a three sport athlete, so my first inclination is absolutely!  But I have to wonder, is it more for the parent or the child?

Can you guess what the number one reason kids quit playing sports? 

According to Life Family Education the reason most kids quit playing organized sports by the age 13 is because it’s no longer “fun.”  Now I can hardly move my fingers to type anymore because I am too worried about whether my nephew is having fun.    According to this article “Why Most Kids Quit Sports,” 70 million kids register for an organized sport each year, and by age 13 they are no longer playing league sports, and NEVER play them again.  This number is astounding to me!  I want my kids to play sports.  I want them to have fun playing them, and I certainly want them to play them beyond the age of 13.

From pre-school to high school, the article gives you key points to remember about your children playing sports.  For example, be aware of what your child can accomplish physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially.   Don’t make unrealistic expectations for your child.  Many children lose their desire to play a sport because they no longer feel that they can live up to their parents’ and coaches’ expectations of them.  This is where the Kidtelligent survey may be helpful to you and your athlete.  Take the survey – learn what type of child you have, and discuss with his/her coach!  It may be as simple as asking the coach to explain a drill in more detail for your child to better understand, as your child may be an analyzer!  Getting parents, athletes, and coaches to have a better understanding of what type of things will “drive” your athlete might just keep them on the field past the age of 13, and more importantly, having FUN!

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Mandi is a guest mom writer for Kidtelligent. If you are interested in submitting an article to be shared on the Kidtelligent Blog and Facebook please email us at info@kidtelligent.com