Possible Causes Of Sports Abandonment In Young People

In Italy, as in the rest of the world, there is a slow but progressive abandonment of sports among young people. But how come? Here are the main causes.
Possible causes of sports abandonment in young people

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 abandonment of sports in young people. The causes that favor this phenomenon are various and depend on both personal characteristics and the socio-cultural context.

As we know, the practice of controlled and planned physical activity produces numerous health benefits. Nevertheless, during adolescence the cases of abandonment of sports in young people increase considerably. In order to understand this important issue, it is necessary to dwell on the context that surrounds them. Put simply, it is necessary to take into account their interests and the search for their own identity, as well as understand what the goal of sporting is. Both as a means of socialization and as a goal to achieve excellence in a given discipline.

Furthermore, it must be taken into account that not all cases of abandonment of sports in young people are the result of a specific will from the boys. There are often situations in which they are excluded, whether by the coach, by lack of financial means, by fierce competition or by injuries that prevent their continuity.

Coach with his players

Among the most obvious consequences of abandoning sport in young people, in addition to the loss of new recruits in various disciplines and the interruption of an experience in a healthy and value-rich 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 abandonment from sports are recorded after the age of 11 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 the abandonment of sports in young people:

1. Lack of motivation

The first cause of sports abandonment in young people is a lack of motivation and commitment. This means that there comes a time when young people no longer like what they do and their reaction results in a lack of desire for sport. As a result, they stop training and prefer to devote time to other activities, mostly sedentary.

Sports abandonment in young people has many causes

If your child gets bored, perhaps due to the inadequacy of a coach or an uninspiring team context, or if he gets too used to a routine, it is normal for his desire to play sports to decrease. For example, the lack of motivation can occur if the young player is not a starter and spends all the games perpetually on the bench. Not feeling important, or useful, can make him lose the 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 can 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 up in the regional or national teams. Lack of breaks, free time and constant competition can generate a lot of psycho-physical stress. There are not rare cases in which a small champion comes to say “enough!”, Abruptly interrupting his competitive path. Particularly demanding expectations and pressure from coaches and parents should always be modulated.

3. Lack of time

The third reason for abandoning sport in young people concerns an aspect mentioned above. We are talking about the lack of time, which intervenes in two opposite aspects. In the first case, the short time to study and the inability to concentrate makes sporting activity incompatible. Of course, parents want their children to get good grades. If this does not happen, repetitions and extra hours will be required which will be at the expense of sports.

On the other hand, scarce free time can also have a negative impact. Keep in mind that training takes place in the afternoons and matches, or competitions, at the weekend. While your child’s classmates and friends attend parties, go to the movies or meet to play with the computer, the little athlete will be busy training. And, it must be said, playing sports often requires precisely this type of sacrifice.

4. Accidents

Finally, injuries mean that many teenagers are forced to put sport aside. Even if it occurs in a much smaller number of cases, it is a reality to be taken into consideration. While it is true that by age, most of them could recover well and start practicing again at the same level, the fear of a possible relapse causes them to decide to do without the sport permanently.

Injured athlete on the track


Sport abandonment in young people: evaluate case by case

Finally, keep in mind that to better understand the possible causes of abandonment of sports in young people it is necessary to evaluate case by case. However, on some occasions it can be the joint result of several reasons that lead young people to want to abandon that 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 for which your child decides to put aside the sport he loves. In this and all other cases it is good to talk to the adolescent through a constructive discussion, to get to the bottom of the matter, with understanding, respect and sensitivity.

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