Drop out rate isn’t a convincing reason

Sites/movements like Changing The Game Project and I Love to Watch You Play have good messages for parents and coaches involved in youth sports.

They started their movements because of the toxic atmosphere they experienced at youth games.

But, there’s a claim that both of these projects that I don’t buy. In this Changing the Game article,  founder John O. Sullivan provides a good example of it:

As I have stated here many times, 70% of children are dropping out of organized sports by the age of 13. Whenever I mention this sad statistic, people come out of the wood work saying that it’s only the kids who aren’t good enough to play that quit. They say it’s an age where school, jobs and other interests take precedence. These things are true and contribute to a part of the dropout rate, but they are not the entire picture.

Why is a 70% drop out rate by age 13 a “sad statistic?” Is that any different than times when youth sports wasn’t as toxic? My guess is no.


At some point, people have to get on with their lives and age 13 is probably about the time they realize they have better ways to spend their time.

By all means, make youth sports less toxic. But, the reason shouldn’t be to reduce the drop out rate.

A good enough reason is that it’s youth sports.




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