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About 70% of kids drop out of sports by the age of 14, according to research.
About twice as many girls drop out than boys, says Nicole McCormack, general manager of brand solutions at TeamSnap, a technology platform that allows players, coaches and parents to manage their youth sports experience.
She recently spoke to us during an Ultimate Sports Parent podcast interview.
Why do girls drop out more?
“I think there are barriers and stigmas that cause girls to drop out more,” says McCormack.
Research shows that one in two girls age 14-17 drop out because someone made fun of them on the field, says McCormack. And one in three parents still endorse the belief that boys are better in sports than girls.
In spite of the dropout rate, sports provide important benefits to girls. Eighty percent of female executives participated in youth sports, according to a study from ESPN, says McCormack.
“They got some of that leadership training early in sports,” she says. The same study found that 90% of female executives played competitively, she says.
“Participation in sports creates opportunities to build success and I think that builds self-esteem,” says McCormack.
“It also creates opportunities to fail and overcome challenges, which also builds self-esteem and resilience,” she adds. “It teaches girls it’s okay to compete and strive to win and succeed.”
To help keep girls in sports, the industry needs more female coaches. Only about 25% of coaches are female, says McCormack.
“It’s good for girls to see female role models and to experience female leadership,” she says.
“But also there’s a different coaching style that works better for girls than boys; female coaches are a bit more attuned to that.”
Women are less likely to coach because they are often critiqued more by parents and have other responsibilities. For example, McCormack says she often coached with her 2-year-old on her hip.
To attract and keep more female coaches, they need to feel appreciated, she says.
In addition, to help ensure girls stay in sports, parents and coaches should keep in mind that most girls–61% according to one study–participate to be with friends. They want to have fun.
“Encourage them to try different sports. Stay positive. Make it fun,” she says.
Mental Performance Coaching for Young Athletes
We’re certain that, as a parents, you want to help your child develop confidence and discipline in sports and life. And as a sports parent, you’d love for your children to reach their potential in sports. But encouraging your child to strive for greatness without pressuring them can be a challenge.
It’s no secret that sports success is linked closely to an athlete’s mental toughness. If your young athletes struggle to perform well in competition, are frustrated with their performance, talk about quitting or display low confidence levels, mental game training can help. Both you and your young athlete can learn how to build mental toughness and improve performance with sports psychology coaching for kids.
One-on-one sports psychology coaching is the fastest and most effective method to improve your athletes’ mental game, boost their performance, and make lasting changes. And as a bonus, parents learn what to say to help young athletes feel confident and thrive in sports. Please call us at 888-742-7225 with your questions.
Please contact us today at Peak Performance Sports to learn more about individual mental coaching programs for serious young athletes on a mission to greatness.