Depending on the study, we’re told that 80 to 90 percent of all youngsters who ever participate in organized youth sports have stopped doing so by the age of 13. Before they reach 9th grade.
High school sports never gets a chance with eight or nine of every 10.
There are many reasons for this, and of course not all of them are bad. Some kids find something better to do, or at least more fitting for them. But a lot of them have barely begun to mature and cannot possibly know what they might like to do or be good at doing with some coaching and encouragement.
Research tells us that much of the reason for the early dropouts has to do with an unhappy or unfulfilling or “unfun” youth sports experience. Some of that has to do with too much too early, or at least too much structure too soon; too much practice, competition and travel too soon; and too much screaming too soon.
That environment drives some youth from team sports in favor of individual sports. Some drop traditional sports in favor of alternative sports. Some leave sports altogether.