Magazine article USA TODAY

Kids Crave More Fun in Youth Sports

Magazine article USA TODAY

Kids Crave More Fun in Youth Sports

Article excerpt

Local youth sports leagues, coaches, and parents need to have a serious timeout to think about how they can bring fun back to athletic programs, reveals a national survey of eight- to 14-year-olds commissioned by i9 Sports, Tampa, Fla.

* 84% say they sometimes wish they had more fun when competing.

* 84% explain that, at one time, they quit a team or wanted to quit--because it was not any fun; teammates were mean; and there were too many practices that interfered with other activities.

* 31% wish adults were not watching their games--mostly because grownups yell too much; are too distracting; make players nervous; and put pressure on kids to play better and win.

* When asked their number-one reason for playing sports, 56% say to have fun.

* When asked how they feel if their team loses, 63% maintain they still have fun.

* 42% would rather be playing video games than sports--because video games are more fun; sports can be too competitive; the coach does not let them play as much as they want; and they feel too much pressure to win. …

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