Sport participation builds character and leadership qualities
It teaches children to cope with stress and other negative emotions
Youth Sports Pro or Con - A Scientific Perspective
Key Point: Performance is compared and evaluated by selected others (coaches, parents, teammates, peers).
Implications: Athletic competition for children is a double edged sword. It can have both positive and negative effects. Whether competition results in positive or negative experiences depends to a large extent on those who wield the sword - the adult leaders.
Findings - Overall, competitive youth sport participation is not that anxiety producing. However, sport competition can be perceived as threatening or anxiety producing by some children in some situations (Scanlan & Passer, 1979 soccer study).
B. What children in what specific athletic situations experience heightened anxiety.
Child Characteristics - high trait anxiety, low self/team performance expectations, uncertainty about capabilities, uncertainty about relationships with others, high fear of failure
What Do Parents and Coaches Unknowingly do To Undermine Motivation in Young Athletes?
The youth sport dropout
Dropout statistics - 22 to 37%
When do young athletes dropout? - 11 to 13
Forgetting participation motives of young athletes
Motives young athletes give for participation - to have fun, improve skills/learn new skills, friendship/affiliation, thrill and excitement, succeed or win, fitness
Motives young athletes give for dropping out - interest change/conflicting activities, lack of success/skill improvement, lack of participation, boredom, lack of fun, dislike for coach, competitive stress
Key point - Young athletes have a variety of participation motives
Young athletes are not miniature adults
Recognise motives for participation and help fulfil them