WHAT CAN YOU DO?
ASK KIDS WHAT THEY WANT
In a study, nine of 10 kids said "fun" is the main reason they participate. When asked to define fun, they offered up 81 reasons – and ranked "winning" at No. 48. Young girls gave it the lowest ratings. Six out of 10 kids said they quit sports because they lost interest. Learn about ways to bring kids' voice into the design of experiences.
REINTRODUCE FREE PLAY
The days of casual play are mostly gone. It’s important, however, that they return. Studies show that unstructured play in childhood is associated with higher levels of academic creativity among college students. They also show that children who spend more time in less structured activities in general are better able to set their own goals and take action on them.
ENCOURAGE SPORTS SAMPLING
Most kids get involved in only a handful of sports. As early as grade school, kids identified with the most promise get the message from adults that they have to specialize in one sport in order to fully develop their talents. That is simply not true. Research says that trying different sports leads to less burnout, less social isolation, better performance, and more lifelong enjoyment in sport.
TRAIN ALL COACHES
Youth coaches can make an athlete for life — or wreck a child's enthusiasm for sports altogether. Most coaches have never been trained in how to communicate effectively with kids, and many are just winging it in teaching sport skills and tactics. More than 60% of parents identify the “quality or behavior” of coaches as a “big concern.” We have free tools that can fill these gaps.
Learn about all eight ways to keep kids in sports with the Project Play Playbook.
Don't Retire, Kid is an initiative of Project Play 2020, which is comprised of leading organizations to help make sports accessible to all kids, regardless of zip code or ability.
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PROJECT PLAY SUMMIT
Don't Retire, Kid is the theme of this year's Project Play Summit (Sept. 17-18 in Detroit), the nation’s premier gathering of leaders at the intersection of youth, sport and health. Join us as we chart next steps in building healthy children and communities through sports.