Why Kids Leave Sport... and Why they Stay

A fellow high performance team coach shared the following article, which outlines the 6 top reasons why kids leave a sport (specifically swimming, in this case):

6 Tips for Swim Parents on Why Swimmers Quit (SwimSwam)

Since we want our kids to continue being involved in triathlon and sport in general as long as possible, here is my response to this article - 6 reasons why kids STAY in triathlon (or any sport):

  1. Being with their friends - and they have bonded with the other athletes on their team. Triathlon is an individual sport, but we spend a lot of time during practices teaching athletes to work as a team, to respect each other, and to have fun together.
  2. Getting the RIGHT amount of parent involvement - in other words, the kid owns their sport experience and decides on their own goals and commitments, but the parent requires them to live up to the commitment that they have made to achieve their goals.
  3. The drive home - when you build them up, find the things they did right even if their overall performance wasn't what they hoped for, and encourage them to keep pursuing their dreams for the sport through passion and hard work.
  4. Being able to see personal improvement - because they understand that improvement doesn't always come in the form of increased speed, but just as often in technique, commitment and strength that lays the foundation for future and long-term performance.
  5. A reasonable school schedule - not having 6 hours of homework every night, meaning they have the opportunity to embrace/enjoy hobbies outside of that environment. Having teachers who are focused on learning more than paperwork.
  6. Their coach does his or her job - meaning he gives each athlete the same amount of consideration regardless of ability. She makes each athlete feel valued. He makes the sport fun - not just work. She recognizes improvement. He sets realistic expectations, and tells the athletes how to achieve them.

The long and short of it is - we ALL play a part in the athlete's success in and enjoyment of triathlon. Let's create an environment together that sets kids up for a lifetime of healthy activity in this great sport.

Have a great Wednesday,

Coach Morgan