Why Kids Choose to Quit Sports for Good Reasons

Mikayla Boyd, Staff

Around seventy percent of kids who participate in sports will stop playing by the age of thirteen. The biggest reason for quitting is “it’s just not fun anymore”, but sometimes the reason can be a lot deeper than many parents think. 

School should always come first because having a good education is very important. Which is why some students chose to quit playing sports. Accepting the fact that playing in college isn’t a possibility is the first step to overcoming the love for a sport. Former softball player Lexie Sheridan states, “I enjoyed playing the sport. I had a coach that believed in me and made me work hard. There is a lot of competition and fighting to make sure you are the best and play as much as you can. But I needed to focus on school more. I’m planning on attending college after I graduate. I know playing softball in college is not the direction I want to go, and it won’t be able to pay for it.” Putting priorities first can impact a kid’s future drastically.

Sports are supposed to be some of the greatest years of a child’s life. Joining a team is like joining a new family. Kids want to feel accepted and have a sense of ownership. They want their voice heard and their opinions valued. But it’s hard for children to have any fun if all they hear from their coach is what they did wrong during the game and how bad they are. It sinks into their mind that they are worthless and insignificant. Which could lead to confidence issues and never willing to take a risk in fear of failing. In the author’s own experience of playing softball, she has seen and witnessed many aggressive and controlling up coaches. From throwing tape measures at the parents to yelling in kids’ faces and making them cry. After years of taking verbal abuse from coaches, her confidence levels lowered dramatically. If all a kid hears is what they did wrong, they are never going to find enjoyment in a sport. Especially if a child has to endure the abuse for a couple of hours every other day, plus not knowing what their home situation is like. Which is why some kids choose to quit. Studies show that teens spend nine to fifteen hours each week playing video games. Why? Because no one is coaching them and telling them what to do. They can’t receive criticism on how they are playing. The decisions are left in the control of the children. 

When kids start getting old and closer to the end of their high school career, priorities start to change. Cars, food, clothing, and accessories are some of the top items that teenagers spend their money on. But getting a job requires an open schedule that a boss doesn’t have to work around, and playing sports takes up the majority of a kid’s time. Also, the skill level a player is at will determine how many days a week they practice. If they practice a lot, a company is less likely to hire them. Former Varsity softball player Taylor Hershy says, “The love I had for this sport was incredible. It was my everything; however, I eventually knew that when it came to my senior year it had become too much to handle. I was juggling between school, softball, and finding a job. I knew I had to focus on other things that are more important for my future.” Chances of playing in a sport competitively after high school are very low. It is even less likely to play at a Division 1 school. According to scholarships.com, “Overall a little over 7% of high school athletes (about 1 in 13) went on to play a varsity sport in college and less than 2% of high school athletes (1 in 57) went on to play at NCAA Division I schools.” So relying on a sport to pay for necessities in the future is typically a bad idea. 

Sports are not something to quit just because. But if it is affecting school, impacting mental health, and keeping a child broke, then okay to let go from sports. Sometimes parents have to accept the fact that their kids might not be good enough to play professional sports. But in the end, it’s up to the child to decide what are their priorities in life.