Research Proposal: What Factors Influence a Youth's Decision to Withdrawal From a Sport

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¶ … YOUTH'S DECISION to WITHDRAW FROM a SPORT

To Have Fun"

The number one reason a youth relates that he/she participates in a sport "is to have fun" Seefeldt, Ewing, and Walk (1992; cited by Hedstrom and Gould, 2004, p. 21) purport. Motives which influence a youth's decision to participate in sports include a number of other reasons, often multiple and include the: "interplay of skill development, physical development, and social interaction" (Ibid.).

Regarding a youth's motives to participate in school-sponsored sports, the motive "to win" ranks number 8. Youth who participated in sports outside of those their school sponsored, albeit, did not even list the reason, "to win" as a reason they decided to participate in sports. Research repeatedly reveals that a number of youth withdraw from sport "because they experience 'too much stress' and 'not enough fun'" (Klint and Wiess, 1986' cited by Holt and Mandigo, 2004). Drop-out rates for organized youth sport programs routinely average up to 35% each year (Gould and Petlichkoff, 1988; cited by Holt and Mandigo, 2004) Consequently, understanding how youth can better cope with/in competitive sport experiences proves to be a significant study (Crocker, Hoar, McDonough, Kowalski, and Neifer; cited by Holt and Mandigo, 2004). A youth's decision to withdraw from sports may arise from, or partially relate to numerous contextual and performance stressors, which may include but not limited to: a: excessive amounts of pressure; b: conflicts with the coach/coach criticisms of player; c: dearth of fun; d: excessive emphasis on winning, e: fear of being hurt or injured; f: experiencing conflicts with members on opposing teams; g: making repeated physical/mental errors, h:

parent/s exerting pressure by being over-involved and/or expressing unreasonable expectations for the youth to succeed (Anshel and Delany, 2001; Crocker and Isaak, 1997; Gould and Eklund, 1996; Goyen and Anshel, 1998: Klint and Weiss, 1986; Scanlan and Lewthwaite, 1984; cited by Holt and Mandigo, 2004). Along with the intent "to have fun," researchers purport youth possess deeper motives for their participation in sports. (Gould and Petlichkoff, 1988; cited by Hedstrom and Gould, 2004, p. 21). In a similar sense, this researcher notes and reports in this literature review chapter, that a myriad of "reasons" may contribute to a youth deciding to withdraw from a sport.

Hedstrom and Gould (2004, p. 23) cite Seefeldt, Ewing, and Walk, (1992) to relate the following four "reasons" youth give for their withdrawal from sport activities.

Youth lost interest in the sport's activity.

The sport and/or participating in it was no longer fun.

The youth felt as if their coach was not a good instructor and/or "played favorites." 4. The youth wanted to participate in some other activity (could include a job) or no longer had time for engaging in the sport (Hedstrom and Gould, 2004, p. 23).

Another researcher relates similar reasons for youth withdrawing from sports.

While the frequency of the specific motives given for withdrawal vary among studies, a number of reasons such as conflicts of interest, lack of success or improvement, lack of playing time, dislike of the coach or boredom appear in the majority of reports (Weiss; cited by Molinero, Salguero, Tuero, Alvarez and Marquez, 2006).

The National Council of Youth Sports reports that than 44 million children participated in youth and high school sports during 2007, "12 million more than in 1997." But according to a study by the National Alliance for Youth Sports, nearly 75% of approximately 20 million youth sports participants quit by the age of 13" (Lenzi, 2008, ¶ 8).

Ten of the most frequently selected reasons related in one study of youth's participation in sport activities included the following:

To have fun;

To do something I'm good at to improve my skills

To stay in shape

To get exercise

For the excitement of competition

For the challenge of competition

To learn new skills

To play as part of a team

To go to a higher level of competition, (Seefeldt,1993, p. 56)

Seefeldt (1993, p. 61) states: "The reasons that youth gave for dropping out of sport were the antithesis of those given for participating in sport."

Youth ages 10-16 reported "not having fun" and "no longer interested in the sport" as the major reason they decided to withdraw from a sport. Youth 17 and 18 years-old related the identify of reasons, however they added: "wanting to get a job" to their list of reasons for withdrawing from sport.

Younger athletes, who generally withdrew from non-school sponsored sports noted reasons for their withdrawal to include: problems with older children; being bored at practice; not liking the way a uniform fit or looked on them; other players playing too rough; coach did not allow them to play often; conflicts with teammates or feeling of a team members did not like them; experienced time/energy conflict due to other sports' demands; not appropriate sport for age group. In another study noted by Lenzi (2008), reasons for withdrawal from sports by youth included:

Other sports took too much time;

Took job, giving less time;

Did not enjoy it anymore;

Was not good enough;

Too much pressure to perform well;

Parents discouraged me from continuing;

Too expensive;

Injury played a role;

Coach was the reason;

No longer an opportunity;

Spend more time on non-sport activities.

Reasons" this Researcher Relates for this literature review, this researcher relates "reasons" youth decide to withdraw from sports under the following four categories. Some of the reasons may include: a: Youth lost interest and/or no longer considered sport fun; b: Coach and/or team influence; c: Psychological, physical and/or emotional reasons; d. Familial matters (includes time).

2.2 Youth Lost Interest or No Longer Considered Sport Fun as "to have fun," as Seefeldt, Ewing, and Walk (1992; cited by T (Hedstrom and Gould, 2004, p. 21) note, constitutes the primary reason, among numerous reasons, youth relate for their participation in sports, it naturally follows that when the sport is no longer fun, the youth may withdraw. Numerous studies exploring youth sport attrition have many youth who drop out are either participating in other sports or plan to continue the same sport at a later time (Gould, Feltz, Horn, and Weiss,1982; Klint and Weiss, 1986; cited by Hedstrom and Gould, 2004, p. 23). Researchers we salmon youth sport attrition note it vital to "distinguish between those athletes who drop out of all sports and those that go on to sample others." Gould and Petlichkoff (1988 cited by Hedstrom and Gould, 2004, p. 23 refer to these variances as "sport-specific and domain-general forms of sport withdrawal." Gould, cited by Holt and Mandigo (2004) states: "One social arena where children may experience psychosocial stress is via participation in organized youth sport." Descriptive research reveals youths base their motives for participating in various sports feelings they experience such as " competence (e.g., learning new skills), affiliation (e.g., making friends), competition (e.g., to win), and fun (e.g., for excitement)" (Weiss, 2000; cited by Holt and Mandigo, 2004). Along with positive alluring motives youth experience, however, a number of negative outcomes also link to youth sport participation. This includes decreased fun and satisfaction (Scanlan and Lewthwaite, 1984; cited by Holt and Mandigo, 2004); physical injury (Smith, Smoll, and Ptacek, 1990; cited by Holt and Mandigo, 2004); deteriorated performance (Gould, Eklund, Petlichkoff, Peterson, and Bump, 1991; cited by Holt and Mandigo, 2004); burnout" (Smith, 1986; cited by Holt and Mandigo, 2004).

Ultimately, these un-fun factors frequently contribute to a youth deciding to withdraw from sport" (Petlichkoff, 1996; cited by Holt and Mandigo, 2004).

Teachable Moments in Sports

Lenzi (2008, para. 4) contends that, whether considered fun or not, "every practice and every game is a teachable moment," however, simultaneously poses the questions: "Will we help raise productive members of society or will we raise athletes? Or will we teach, 'a team is a place where parents go crazy?'" One vital lesson from youth participating in sports, Lenzi stresses, includes value of being part of a team. As youth are involved, they also learn the value of ensuring things get done right.

Martens (1996; cited by Brady, 2004, p. 48) argued that a number of the practices currently utilized and in youth sports, turns youth away from instead of to the continuing practice of physical activity.

To redress this situation, he proposed two principles that are germane to continued participation in sports: the "Self-Worth Principle" and the "Fun Principle." The Self-Worth Principle encompasses the need to feel competent and worthy and to experience success. Martens stated that being competent in the physical domain was important and that positive experiences, accompanied by both the internal feedback of accomplishment and the external recognition of success, enhance competence and feelings of worthiness. However, a number of practices result in lowered self-worth and feelings of incompetence: pushing athletes into activities that are developmentally too advanced, over-emphasizing competition, shifting the emphasis from learning to performing skills, failing to recognize small steps in progress, carping about the gap between current and desired skill levels, comparing players with those who are… [END OF PREVIEW]

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