Few parents want their kids to up and quit an activity they’re good at or used to enjoy. It’s hard watching your player lose their love of youth sports and decide it just isn’t for them anymore. As parents we can’t influence our kids to play youth sports, but we can do our best to understand why sports just don’t have the appeal that they used to. Here are the top five reasons most kids quit playing youth sports:
1. They lost interest.
Sometimes it seems kids have the attention span of birds. One minute they dream of being the next Tom Brady and their room is full of football memorabilia, the next they want to be an astronaut and the football is replaced with a telescope.
2. It was no longer fun.
It’s hard for a kid to commit to any activity they don’t enjoy doing. In fact, most youth athletes would probably tell you the main reason they decided to join a youth sports team in the first place was because they wanted to have fun and hang out with their friends! Once sports stop being fun and becomes something like they feel they are forced to do, most kids aren’t interested.
3. It was too big of a time commitment.
At some level of play, being on a youth sports team means giving up on other activities. It’s hard to be on a travel hockey team that goes to overnight tournaments every weekend and have time for much else. When your youth athlete reaches that point in their sports career, they may decide sports just aren’t for them. If they still love to play, just not at the fast-paced level of a high-powered travel team, they can also play intramural sports or just pickup games with their friends.
4. The coach played favorites.
It’s really hard for youth athletes when they feel like they can’t earn their spot, not matter what they do. Coaches, at the end of the day, are people too and sometimes people play favorites. If your youth athlete spent more time sitting on the bench than on the field (through no fault of their own) and they suspect it’s because the coach only wanted to play his star players, it’s no surprise they no longer love the game.
5. They had bad coaches.
One bad coach can sour a kid’s opinion of youth sports for the rest of their life. If it wasn’t fun, they didn’t feel like they learned anything or their coach kept them on the bench, most kids aren’t willing to risk a second year of the same. A coach really can make or break the season for a youth athlete.
There is nothing wrong with your child wanting to quit playing youth sports if it no longer interests them, but you should probably have them finish the season. Explain they made a commitment to their team and they can’t walk away until it’s done. One of the great life lessons youth sports teaches kids is that they have to stick to their commitments.
What are the implications for player development and grassroots football ?.... with clubs such as Manchester City - who this year will have involved over 200,000 youngsters in Greater Manchester in grassroots football activities such as school visits, holiday courses,outreach for disadvantged kids etc.For example over 50,000 children attended free holiday courses. Manchester City in the Community
City aren't the only club doing this sort of work in England but they are probably the only one doinig it on this scale with the enormous financial backing of their owners !
The site, developed by MotivatEd and Premiership Rugby, features National Curriculum Key Stage 2 and 3 learning resources for primary and secondary schools. The first resource set, created through the RFU’s teacher networks, is themed around various aspects of the Rugby World Cup 2011, including planning, teamwork, geography, statistics, fitness, nutrition, citizenship, reading, and the mathematical mechanics of a rugby match.
One such resource module focuses on the bidding process involved in becoming the host nation of a future Rugby World Cup, encouraging pupils to research the process, detail their findings and create their own bid presentation. Another module focuses on numeracy and the importance of angles in relationship to rugby passing and kicking.
As well as a comprehensive set of downloadable lesson plans and suggested activities for teachers, the site will feature several exciting games for students that reinforce rugby-themed literacy and numeracy learning - whilst engaging strongly with pupils through interactive digital media.
This is another example of using the web and sport to accelerate learning
You don't have to follow rugby to know that the national team of New Zealand, the All Blacks, are the undisputed kings of this sport. This team (its nickname refers to the traditional color of its uniforms) plays with a combination of finesse and physical prowess few can match.
Since 1903, New Zealand has won almost 80% of its matches and has held the world's top ranking for more time than every other rugby nation combined.
But even as the All Blacks steam through the opening rounds of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, this team may have finally found an opponent it can't overcome: soccer.
Here in the land where rugby has long been considered a civic religion, there are signs New Zealand may be the latest country to fall for the seemingly irresistible charms of the beautiful game. Last year, New Zealand's national soccer team, the All Whites, captured the country's imagination—and about three million television viewers in a nation of just over four million—as it nearly advanced to the knockout round of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
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The Wellington Phoenix, the country's sole professional soccer club, also made headlines by reaching the semifinals of the Australasian A-League for the first time. It drew a larger average crowd than the city's storied rugby team.
Now, soccer's growing popularity, combined with record levels of youth participation, has led some to suggest that rugby's position as New Zealand's national pastime is weakening, raising questions about how a country with roughly the same population as Washington, D.C., can continue its unlikely domination of a global sport.
"We are striving to maintain our numbers," said Steve Tew, chief executive of the New Zealand Rugby Union. "We are in competition [with soccer] but… we don't begrudge what the All Whites did at all."
This isn't the first time rugby's position has been threatened by the rise of soccer. In the 1980s, New Zealand's first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in 1982 coincided with a period of disenchantment with rugby, caused by a spate of spinal injuries and the All Blacks' controversial 1981 series against South Africa, which was bedeviled by anti-apartheid protests (one of which forced the cancellation of a game in Hamilton).
"Soccer made huge gains and rugby faced a crisis," said Bob Howitt, the author of 13 books on New Zealand rugby and its players.
The soccer boom didn't last. New Zealand hosted the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 and the All Blacks went on to win the title in dominating fashion, rekindling the country's love affair with rugby. In the next decade, the advent of professionalism (national-team players had long been barred from playing professionally) and the establishment of the southern hemisphere's Super Rugby competition cemented the sport's position.
This time, there are signs that soccer's recent progress may endure. The sport has long had one of the country's highest participation rates, but over the last decade youth numbers have been steadily rising—and there are signs the pace is accelerating. Since 2000, the number of kids registered with soccer clubs has grown from 65,000 to more than 100,000, according to New Zealand Football. In the 12 months since New Zealand played at the 2010 World Cup, those numbers have soared by almost 5%, making it the fastest-growing sport.
At the same time, rugby's position as New Zealand's national pastime is weakening. A UMR Research poll last year found rugby was still the country's most popular sport, but the percentage of New Zealanders who were "fairly or very interested" in rugby was just 60%—the lowest since tracking began in 1993.
Grant McKavanagh, chief executive of New Zealand Football, says the old attitude that soccer is for wimps and that real men play rugby no longer applies. "When I was growing up, you were always a little worried about mentioning the sport you played," he said. "Now you can say it with pride."
To some rugby fans, New Zealand's newfound passion for soccer is tough to fathom. While the All Blacks are ranked No. 1 in the world and are expected to win every time they step on a rugby pitch, the country's soccer team has a world ranking of 89 and returned home to a ticker tape parade because they went to the World Cup in South Africa and didn't lose any games. (The All Whites drew with Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia but failed to advance from group play.)
Then there's the fact that this rugged sport has been tied to the country's national identity and culture ever since its introduction here in the 19th Century. Some say the All Blacks, through their inclusion of Polynesian players and embrace of Maori traditions, have even helped bind the nation together.
"The physicality of rugby, you just don't get it in soccer," said Layne Greensill, a 46-year-old farmer from New Zealand's North Island, who plans to take in 28 games in nine stadiums during the seven-week World Cup.
Soccer's surge could have some unsettling consequences for the country's indomitable rugby team. Officials are conscious that the growing participation rate in youth soccer could slowly begin to affect the talent pool available to the All Blacks. New Zealand already has fewer than 30,000 professional players, according to the International Rugby Board. By contrast, France has more than 110,00 and England has roughly 166,000.
"We are hopeful that one of the spinoffs with having the [World Cup] here is that more people will be interested in the game both in watching it, playing it and coaching it," said Tew, of the New Zealand Rugby Union.
In that respect, the signs are positive so far. Nearly 500,000 people have attended World Cup games already and even this week's match between Tonga and Japan—hardly the hottest ticket—drew a sell-out crowd. The numbers of people at the fan zone in Auckland on the tournament's opening night were so large that parts of the city had to be shut down.
As good as that sounds, New Zealand rugby officials know there is a downside that comes with hosting the world's foremost international rugby tournament.
"If we don't win, as we know from experience, we deal with a backlash," said Tew. "Interest wanes in the game generally and we effectively have to build our way back."
The Khan Academy is an educational organization, created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan, an educator and graduate of MIT. With the stated aim of "providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere", the website supplies a free online collection of more than 2,600 micro lectures via video tutorials stored on YouTube teaching mathematics, history, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, economics and computer science
As reported this week, Arizona has introduced a first-of-its-kind concussion education program that requires all student-athletes to pass a formal concussion test before being cleared for sports.
It's an online interactive test called Brain Book, and if you play any high school sport in Arizona, you're now required to go through the lessons, watch the videos and take a test on concussions before you're cleared to play.
"The main hope is to reduce concussions through education," says Dr. Javier Cardenas, MD, from Barrow Neurological Institute.
According to Barrow, about 7,000 Arizona high school students suffer a concussion each year. But they're not always easy to spot.
A new e-learning program will tell athletes what to look for and what to do next if they think they have one.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), along with the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center and the Arizona Cardinals,debuted their Brainbook concussion e-learning program on Tuesday, saying it will immediately affect more than 100,000 student-athletes in the state.
Brainbook is an approximately 50-minute concussion education program available online that all male and female student-athletes will have to take this year to be eligible to play sports. The program uses videos and a Q&A format to walk student-athletes through symptoms and signs of a concussion, encourage them to report all suspected concussions (even for teammates), and explain to them what to do if they have a concussion. (Take a test version of the program for a spin here.)
Best of all, it's laid out in a Facebook-esque format (complete with "Likes" and "Dislikes"), so Millennials should feel right at home. One downside to the program, however: There's nothing requiring users to completely watch each video. For anyone who's a half-decent guesser, he/she may be able to bypass a majority of the educational videos in the program. (Is this the 21st-century version of looking up homework answers in the back of the book?)
The test version of the program doesn't include a pre- and post-test, but students will be required to pass a formal quiz at the end of the program before taking part in interscholastic sports. They must answer at least 80 percent of the quiz questions correctly to be eligible, according to AIA Executive Director Harold Slemmer.
The online Brainbook program was developed because it would be impractical to go from school to school to educate student-athletes about concussions, said Dr. Javier Cárdenas, a neurologist at the Barrow Neurological Institute, in a press conference. Cárdenas said that the program aims to help student-athletes recognize the signs/symptoms of a concussion, know what to do after suffering a concussion, and ensure that they don't return to play before fully healing.
"We're not going to eliminate all concussions. We know that," Cárdenas said."The most important thing is to make sure that you recover from those concussions."
Arizona's been on fire in terms of youth concussions this year. Remember, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signeda youth-concussion law back in April. And in June, the Mayo Clinic announced that it would be offering free baseline-concussion tests for more than 100,000 Arizona student-athletes this school year.
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