Why Do More Girls Drop Out of Sports Than Boys?
We already knew that by the time they are 13, seventy-five percent of kids drop out of sports, mostly because they’re not having fun anymore.
But research shows that girls drop out of sports at rates six times higher than boys.
We spoke recently with Samantha Salvia, a youth coach who leads Positive Coaching Alliance workshops for coaches, athletes and parents in San Francisco and Benjamin Dudley, executive director of the Portland chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance, to better understand this alarming trend.
Boys say they drop out of sports because they’re not having fun anymore. Girls give the same reason too, but behind the “not-having-fun” are a number of issues, according to Salvia and Dudley.
Salvia and Dudley said girls:
- Lack female role models
- Often have less parental support
- Do not have access to female coaches, among other issues
From a mental game perspective, “not having fun” and lacking role models and parental support hurts kids’ confidence and makes sports less enjoyable. That can also lead to girls’ not playing or performing to their potential.
Here at Kids’ Sports Psychology, we urge parents to keep the lines of communication open with their young athletes. If your sports kids are girls and young women, obviously this is more important than ever…
You need to keep a close eye on who you choose as coaches and how your girls and young women are reacting to their youth sports experience.
Given this situation, you also need to seek out teams that will boost your girls’ confidence and also try to provide female role models for them. Younger girls look up to slightly older athletes, and high school girls tend to look to college athletes for inspiration, as Salvia and Dudley said in our interview.
Listen to the entire Ultimate Sports Parent podcast now:
Available Now: “10-Minute Pregame Prep”
Young athletes and their parents and coaches tell us that sports kids often struggle with these pregame mental game challenges:
- They feel pressure to excel from expectations they feel from others
- They focus too much on the outcome instead of the process
- They fail to take charge of their confidence before the compete
- They don’t trust in their skills when they go from practice to competition
- They hang on to mistakes and dwell in them in competition
- They worry too much about what others think about their performance
- They tighten up and play safe when they feel pressure to succeed
- They interpret pregame jitters as harmful to their performance
“10 Minute Pregame Prep” will tell you everything you need to know about ensuring your sports kids avoid classic mental game pitfalls before a game, learn how to trust their instincts, and just go for it. It provides lots of advice for you, too…
With our program, you can stop wondering what to do and relax before your kids’ games!
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Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!
Do your young athletes:
- Criticize themselves often after making mistakes?
- Freeze up and look scared when faced with competitive pressure?
- Lose confidence after working with a negative coach?
- Perform like stars in practice but freeze up or play tentatively during games or competitions?
If so, check out The Ultimate Sports Parent!
The Ultimate Sports Parent will teach you powerful mental toughness secrets to improve your child’s success in sports.
Get proven strategies form leading youth sports experts!
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~Sarah Bateman, Sports Parent
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