Sport plays a fundamental role in the lives of children and adolescents. However, precisely in this delicate phase of development, there are many cases of sports abandonment in young people. The causes that favor this phenomenon are varied and depend on both personal characteristics and the socio-cultural context.
As is known, the practice of controlled and planned physical activity produces numerous health benefits. Nevertheless, during adolescence, the cases of sports abandonment in young people increase considerably. In order to understand this important issue, it is necessary to dwell on the context that surrounds them. Simply put, it is necessary to take into consideration their interests and the search for their own identity, as well as to understand what the goal of sports is. Both as a means of socialization and as a goal to achieve excellence in a given discipline.
Furthermore, we must take into account the fact that not all cases of sports abandonment in young people are the result of a precise will by the boys. Often there are situations in which they are excluded, either from the coach, from the lack of financial means, from fierce competition or from injuries that prevent continuity.
Among the most obvious consequences of sports abandonment in young people, in addition to the loss of new recruits in various disciplines and the interruption of experience in a healthy and rich in values context, the most serious problem concerns the increase in the number of adults sedentary. To give you an example, a recent study estimates that the highest rates of sports dropout are recorded after 11 years in males and after 12 in females.
What are the causes of sports abandonment in young people?
After this brief but necessary introduction, let’s find out, in detail, the 4 main reasons behind sports abandonment in young people:
1. Lack of motivation
The first cause of sports abandonment in young people is the lack of motivation and commitment. This means that there comes a time when young people no longer love what they do and their reaction results in a lack of desire for sport. As a result, they interrupt their training and prefer to dedicate time to other activities, mostly sedentary.
If your child gets bored, maybe due to the inadequacy of a coach or a little stimulating team environment, or if he gets too used to a routine, it’s normal that his desire to play sports decreases. For example, the lack of motivation can occurs if the young person is not the holder and passes all the games perennially on the bench. The fact of not feeling important, or useful, can make him lose his passion and desire to compete.
2. Burnout or “exhaustion”
Secondly, you should know that exhaustion is one of the causes of sports abandonment in young people. More commonly known as burnout, it occurs when there is a state of emotional and physical fatigue generated by the demand or duration of sports practice. However, it may appear in those scenarios where the results are not considered important.
We can take the example of a young athlete who trains hard with the youth team, but also with the senior team and is also called in regional or national teams. Lack of breaks, free time and constant competition can generate a lot of psycho-physical stress. The cases in which a small champion goes so far as to say “enough!” Are not rare, suddenly interrupting his competitive path. Particularly demanding expectations and pressures from coaches and parents should always be modulated.
“The pain is temporary. It can last a minute or an hour or a day or a year, but over time it will diminish and something else will take its place. However, if you surrender, giving up will last forever. ” (Lance Armstrong)
3. Lack of time
The third reason for sports abandonment in young people concerns an aspect mentioned earlier. Let’s talk about the lack of time, which intervenes in two opposite aspects. In the first case, the little time to study and the inability to concentrate makes sports activities incompatible. Obviously parents want their children to get good grades. If this does not happen, repetitions and extra hours will be necessary, which will be at the expense of the transport.
On the other hand, even limited free time can have a negative impact. Keep in mind that workouts take place in the afternoon and matches, or races, over the weekend. While your child’s classmates and friends are attending parties, going out to the movies or seeing themselves playing computer games, the little agonist will be engaged in training. And, it must be said, playing sports often requires precisely this type of sacrifice.
Finally, injuries mean that many teenagers are forced to put the sport aside. Although it occurs in a much smaller number of cases, it is a reality to be taken into account. Although it is true that for ages, most of them could recover well and start again at the same level, the fear of a possible relapse leads them to decide to do without the sport definitively.
Sports abandonment in young people: assess on a case by case basis
Finally, keep in mind that to better understand the possible causes of sports abandonment in young people it is necessary to evaluate case by case. However, on some occasions, it may be the joint result of several reasons that induce young people to abandon the sporting activity they loved so much.
We talked about lack of motivation, burnout, lack of time and injuries. But sometimes, psychological aspects can also come into play, so your child decides to put aside the sport he loves. This and in all other cases it is good to talk to the adolescent through a constructive confrontation, to get to the bottom of the matter, with understanding, respect and sensitivity.