Why Kids Quit Baseball

Why Kids Quit Baseball

Recently I wrote this guest blog post for John Creel and The Right Spot Newsletter.  The Right Spot is a non profit organization

 supporting Youth athletic and after school programs and offering opportunities to underpaid college coaches in North Carolina.

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Baseball can be a great way for children to learn important life skills, such as teamwork, discipline, and perseverance. However, about 70 percent of kids stop playing by age 13, says a poll from the National Alliance for Youth Sports. In this blog post, we will explore the three main reasons why kids quit baseball before they reach their teenage years.

Lack of interest or enjoyment:


One of the primary reasons children quit baseball by the age of 13 is a lack of interest or enjoyment in the activity. Children are naturally curious and tend to gravitate towards activities that they find fun and engaging. If a child is not having fun playing baseball, it can quickly become a chore, and they may lose interest. Parents and coaches can play a crucial role in helping children develop an interest in baseball. They can make sports more enjoyable by creating a positive and supportive environment. Encouraging children to have fun and to focus on the process of improving their skills, rather than just winning, can help them stay engaged in the sport.

Poor performance or lack of progress:


Another reason why children quit baseball by the age of 13 is poor performance or lack of progress. Youth coaches often spend a majority of the practice time optimizing for the short term outcomes for the game played on a small field.  This alone handcuffs a players skills for when they inevitably land on the standard baseball field with 90 ft base paths and a 60’6 inch mound.

The performance demands on the small youth field are very different from the performance demands of the game played on the standard field.  Coaches need to be aware of these demands and tailor their practice time toward building the skills, tools, and abilities that are going to aid the player in this transition

Children who are not seeing improvement in their skills or who are not performing well on a team can become discouraged and lose interest in baseball quickly.

Parents and coaches can help children improve their skills by providing constructive feedback and helping them set achievable performance goals. It is important to praise children for their efforts and progress, rather than just their results. This can help them stay motivated and engaged in the sport.

If a child is struggling with a particular skill or aspect of baseball, it may be helpful to provide additional support or training. Private coaching or extra practice sessions can help children improve their skills and build confidence if the performance goals are aligned to the demands that the player will need to meet on the standard size field

Not everyone picks up the game and is immediately great, lots of times it takes work.

Pressure or burnout:

The third reason why children quit baseball by the age of 13 is pressure or burnout. Children who feel overwhelmed by the pressure to perform or who are experiencing burnout from too much training or competition may become disinterested in the sport.

Parents and coaches can help children avoid burnout by creating a healthy and balanced schedule. It is important to make sure that children have time to rest and recover between practices and competitions. 

Coaches and parents can also help children manage the pressure of competition by focusing on the process of improvement, rather than just the results. Encouraging children to set achievable goals and to focus on their own progress can help them stay motivated and engaged in the sport.

The allure of the next tournament and the fear of missing out can put alot of pressure on parents to “make the right decision” for their kid.  Have confidence and peace of mind knowing that if your child’s tools and abilities are good enough they will continue to get opportunities to play the game. So focus your time, energy, and attention on making sure that happens.

In conclusion, there are many reasons why children quit sports by the age of 13. Lack of interest or enjoyment, poor performance or lack of progress, and pressure or burnout are the three main reasons why kids quit sports. Parents and coaches can help children stay engaged in sports by creating a positive and supportive environment, providing constructive feedback and support, and helping children manage the pressure of competition. By taking these steps, we can help children develop a love for sports that will stay with them for a lifetime.

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