Describing the Problem


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Describing the Problem

  • Describing the Problem

  • What has already been done and what have we learned from it?

  • Why was there a need for another study on attitudes about youth sports programs?



Adult supervised non-school youth sports programs are rapidly growing and cater to some 25 million kids.

  • Adult supervised non-school youth sports programs are rapidly growing and cater to some 25 million kids.

  • Almost 50% of the children ages 5-16 participate in youth sports.

  • 90% of parents encourage their children to engage in sports.



60% of parents are involved in youth sports programs.

  • 60% of parents are involved in youth sports programs.

  • 85% of parents have concerns about youth sports programs

  • Physical education professionals have voiced serious concerns about non-school adult supervised youth sport leagues .



Over all children, regardless of income or ethnicity, will rank self-regulated items (e.g., “fun,” “learning new skills,” “improving,” and “team work”) ahead of other- controlled items (e.g., “winning,” “trophies,” “be popular,” and “get to a higher level of competition”).

  • Over all children, regardless of income or ethnicity, will rank self-regulated items (e.g., “fun,” “learning new skills,” “improving,” and “team work”) ahead of other- controlled items (e.g., “winning,” “trophies,” “be popular,” and “get to a higher level of competition”).

  • Overall parents, regardless of income or ethnicity, will closely predict their child’s motivations.

  • Children will differ in their motivations to participate in youth sports based on age, gender, length of involvement, and type of activity.



A common sense approach to studying the value of youth sports has been to examine children’s motivations to join, participate enthusiastically, and/or drop out.

  • A common sense approach to studying the value of youth sports has been to examine children’s motivations to join, participate enthusiastically, and/or drop out.

  • A number of studies probed children’s motivation to participate in youth sports programs:

  • Ewing & Seefeldt (1990)

  • Gill, Gross, & Huddlestone (1981)

  • Gould, Feltz, Weiss, & Petlichkoff (1982)

  • Griffin (1978)

  • McElroy & Kirkendal (1980)

  • Sapp & Haubenstricker (1978)

  • Swell (1992)

  • Wankel & Kreisel (1985)



2,000+ children, average age 11.9 selected one of the following as their most important reason for playing a sport:

  • 2,000+ children, average age 11.9 selected one of the following as their most important reason for playing a sport:

  • to play as well as you can (personal performance)

  • to play fairly, by the rules at all times (fair play)

  • everyone on the team should get to play (total participation)

  • to defeat your opponent or the other team (winning orientation)



Most Important Reason for Playing Sports

  • Most Important Reason for Playing Sports



The Athletic Footwear Association commissioned Drs. Martha Ewing and Vern Seefeldt of the Youth Sport Institute at Michigan State University to investigate children’s reasons for participation and/or dropping out from nonschool youth programs.

  • The Athletic Footwear Association commissioned Drs. Martha Ewing and Vern Seefeldt of the Youth Sport Institute at Michigan State University to investigate children’s reasons for participation and/or dropping out from nonschool youth programs.

  • Boys’ and girls’ (N=10,000) were asked:

  • Why they participate?

  • Why they quit?

  • How they feel about winning?



Highlights of the Study:

  • Highlights of the Study:

  • Sport participation, and the desire to participate in sports, decline sharply and steadily between ages 10 and 18.

  • “Fun” is a pivotal reason for being in a sport, and lack of fun is a leading reason for dropping out.

  • Young participants do not consider winning as a major benefit of sport competition.

  • Motivations to participate differ greatly within and in between athletes.



REASON FOR PLAYING REASON FOR DROPPING OUT

  • REASON FOR PLAYING REASON FOR DROPPING OUT

  • 01 TO HAVE FUN 01 I LOST INTEREST

  • 02 TO IMPROVE MY SKILLS 02 I WAS NOT HAVING FUN

  • 03 TO STAY IN SHAPE 03 IT TOOK TOO MUCH TIME

  • 04 TO DO SOMETHING 04 COACH WAS A POOR

  • I’M GOOD AT TEACHER

  • 05 FOR THE EXCITEMENT OF 05 TOO MUCH PRESSURE (WORRY)

  • COMPETITION

  • 06 TO GET EXERCISE 06 WANTED NON-SPORT ACTIVITY

  • 07 TO PLAY AS PART OF A 07 I WAS TIRED OF IT

  • TEAM

  • 08 FOR THE CHALLENGE OF 08 NEEDED MORE STUDY TIME

  • COMPETITION

  • 09 TO LEARN NEW SKILLS 09 COACH PLAYED FAVORITES

  • 10 TO WIN 10 SPORT WAS BORING

  • 11 OVER-EMPHASIS ON WINNING

  • Reproduced from Ewing, M. E., & Seefeldt, V. (1990). American youth sports participation: A study of 10,000 students and their feelings about sport. North Palm Beach, FL: Athletic Footwear Association.



BOYS GIRLS

  • BOYS GIRLS

  • 01 TO HAVE FUN 01 TO HAVE FUN

  • 02 TO IMPROVE SKILLS 02 TO STAY IN SHAPE

  • 03 FOR THE EXCITEMENT 03 TO GET EXERCISE

  • OF COMPETITION

  • 04 TO DO SOMETHING 04 TO IMPROVE SKILLS

  • I’M GOOD AT

  • 05 TO STAY IN SHAPE 05 TO DO SOMETHING I'M

  • GOOD AT

  • 06 FOR THE CHALLENGE 06 TO BE PART OF A TEAM

  • OF COMPETITION

  • 07 TO BE PART OF A TEAM 07 FOR THE EXCITEMENT OF

  • COMPETITION

  • 08 TO WIN 08 TO LEARN NEW SKILLS

  • 09 TO GO TO A HIGHER 09 FOR THE TEAM SPIRIT

  • LEVEL OF COMPETITION

  • 10 TO GET EXERCISE 10 FOR THE CHALLENGE OF

  • COMPETITION

  • 11 TO LEARN NEW SKILLS 11 TO GO TO A HIGHER LEVEL

  • OF COMPETITION

  • 12 FOR THE TEAM SPIRIT 12 TO WIN

  • Reproduced from Ewing, M. E., & Seefeldt, V. (1990)



“I would play again if…”

  • “I would play again if…”

  • BOYS GIRLS

  • 01 PRACTICES WERE 01 PRACTICES WERE

  • MORE FUN MORE FUN

  • 02 I COULD PLAY MORE 02 NO CONFLICT WITH STUDIES

  • 03 COACHES UNDERSTOOD 03 COACHES UNDERSTOOD

  • PLAYERS BETTER PLAYERS BETTER

  • 04 NO CONFLICT WITH 04 NO CONFLICT WITH SOCIAL

  • STUDIES LIFE

  • 05 COACHES WERE BETTER 05 I COULD PLAY MORE TEACHERS

  • 06 NO CONFLICT WITH 06 COACHES WERE BETTER

  • SOCIAL LIFE TEACHERS

  • Reproduced from Ewing, M. E., & Seefeldt, V. (1990)



Subjects (N=566)

  • Subjects (N=566)



Baseball/Softball 32 53 16.7

  • Baseball/Softball 32 53 16.7

  • Basketball 48 48 18.8

  • Football 07 31 07.5

  • Soccer 25 73 19.2

  • Volleyball 31 07 07.5

  • Drill team 39 00 07.6

  • Swimming 30 11 08.0

  • Track 07 07 02.7

  • Tennis 33 08 08.0

  • Other 07 12 03.7



Under $10,000 11 06.14

  • Under $10,000 11 06.14

  • $10,000-$14,999 05 02.79

  • $15,000-$19,999 06 03.35

  • $20,000-$24,999 07 03.91

  • $25,000-$29,999 15 08.38

  • $30,000-$34,999 13 07.26

  • $35,000-$39,999 22 12.29

  • $40,000-$44,999 18 10.06

  • $45,000-$49,999 24 13.41

  • Over $50,000 58 32.40

  • Total 179 99.99%



Child and parent forms each including 18 statements about “participation in one’s best sport outside school” were used (adapted from the AFA 1990, landmark study). Participants checked each item on a 1-7 (not at all important /.../ of utmost importance) Likert scale.

  • Child and parent forms each including 18 statements about “participation in one’s best sport outside school” were used (adapted from the AFA 1990, landmark study). Participants checked each item on a 1-7 (not at all important /.../ of utmost importance) Likert scale.

  • Participants were also asked to select the “one MOST important reason…” from the 18 original statements (see handout).



A uniform format explaining what needs to be done was used

  • A uniform format explaining what needs to be done was used

  • Data was collected from children and their parents whenever possible

  • Yellow forms were handed out to children 5-18 (investigator read statements to non-readers; a Spanish translation was available when needed). Children were instructed to establish a “quick gut feeling about each item” and then proceed and carefully mark their choice.



Parents completed a “Blue” form and were instructed to, without consulting with their child, indicate what “...to their best knowledge their child’s choice would have been for all items.”

  • Parents completed a “Blue” form and were instructed to, without consulting with their child, indicate what “...to their best knowledge their child’s choice would have been for all items.”

  • Participants were instructed to simply “copy the ONE statement they felt was MOST important, or add a new reason.

  • Data was collected “court-side” on practice days and forms were coded for parent/child match pairing (no names).







“To have fun” was the clear first choice for Moms, Dads, Girls and Boys.

  • “To have fun” was the clear first choice for Moms, Dads, Girls and Boys.

  • “To learn new skills” was the second choice for Dads & Moms, and 3rd & 4th for Boys and Girls respectively. The findings by earlier studies (e.g., Ewing & Seefeldt, 1990; McElroy & Kirkendal, 1980) were replicated in this study.

  • “Winning came in 10th place for Boys, 13th for Girls, 16th for Dads and 17th for Moms. This finding is very consistent with the existing literature.



“To stay in shape” and “To get exercise” were top choices for Girls and Moms. When asked to indicate what they liked least about their best sport, many Girls indicated their dislike of exercising, sweating, and getting tired. It appears that Girls in this study felt pressured to choose “To stay in shape” but did not like to engage in activities that lead to improved physical fitness. Societal pressures on girls to look a certain way are apparent.

  • “To stay in shape” and “To get exercise” were top choices for Girls and Moms. When asked to indicate what they liked least about their best sport, many Girls indicated their dislike of exercising, sweating, and getting tired. It appears that Girls in this study felt pressured to choose “To stay in shape” but did not like to engage in activities that lead to improved physical fitness. Societal pressures on girls to look a certain way are apparent.



Over all children, regardless of income or ethnicity, will rank self-regulated items (e.g., “fun,” “learning new skills,” “improving,” and “team work”) ahead of other- controlled items (e.g., “winning,” “trophies,” “be popular,” and “get to a higher level of competition”).

  • Over all children, regardless of income or ethnicity, will rank self-regulated items (e.g., “fun,” “learning new skills,” “improving,” and “team work”) ahead of other- controlled items (e.g., “winning,” “trophies,” “be popular,” and “get to a higher level of competition”).



If it ain’t fun children won’t play.

  • If it ain’t fun children won’t play.

  • For kids to have fun they must improve their skills.

  • Parents seem to want what we the “experts” consider appropriate. So let’s work together.

  • “Fun,” “improving skills,” “playing as a team,” getting in shape…,” are all universally endorsed by all levels of analysis. So let’s concentrate on the content of the programs and not the ethnic, social, and or economic factors.

  • Coaches seem to try too hard. Let’s get involved and show them the way!



Questions

  • Questions

  • &

  • Comments



To improve her/his skills

  • To improve her/his skills

  • To be with her/his friends

  • To win

  • To stay in shape

  • To play as part of a team

  • For the excitement of competition

  • To learn new skills

  • To meet new friends

  • To do something he/she is good at



For trophies and recognition

  • For trophies and recognition

  • To get exercise

  • To feel important

  • For the challenge of competition

  • To have fun

  • To get to a higher level of competition

  • He/she likes the coaches

  • To be popular by being a good athlete

  • For the team spirit



  • Of all the reasons listed above, what is the MOST important reason for your child playing in her/his best sport outside of school? Please write the reason on the lines below:

  • ____________________________

  • ____________________________



  • What do you like least about playing in your best sport outside of school? Please write the reason on the lines below:

  • ____________________________

  • ____________________________



Ewing, M. E. & Seefeldt, V. (1990). American youth and sports participation: A study of 10,000 students and their feelings about sport. North Palm Beach, FL: Athletic Footwear Association. (Sponsored by: Athletic Footwear Association __ AFA, 200 Castlewood Drive, North Palm Beach, Florida 33408; Gregg Hartley, Executive Director, phone # 407 840_1161).

  • Ewing, M. E. & Seefeldt, V. (1990). American youth and sports participation: A study of 10,000 students and their feelings about sport. North Palm Beach, FL: Athletic Footwear Association. (Sponsored by: Athletic Footwear Association __ AFA, 200 Castlewood Drive, North Palm Beach, Florida 33408; Gregg Hartley, Executive Director, phone # 407 840_1161).

  • Gill, D., Gross, J. B., & Huddlestone, S. (1981). Participation motivation in youth sport. International Journal in Sport Psychology, 14, 1-14.



Gould, D., Feltz, D. L., Weiss, M., & Petlichkoff, L. M. (1982). Participating motives in competitive youth swimmers. In T. Orlick, J. T. Partington, & J. H. Salmela (Eds.) Mental training for coaches and athletes (pp. 57-58). Ottawa: Coaching Association of Canada.

  • Gould, D., Feltz, D. L., Weiss, M., & Petlichkoff, L. M. (1982). Participating motives in competitive youth swimmers. In T. Orlick, J. T. Partington, & J. H. Salmela (Eds.) Mental training for coaches and athletes (pp. 57-58). Ottawa: Coaching Association of Canada.

  • Griffin (1978). Why children participate in youth sports. Paper presented at American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (AAHPER) Convention, Kansas City, Missouri.



Orlick, T. (1974). The athletic dropout–A high price of inefficiency. CAHPER Journal, Nov.-Dec., 21-27.

  • Orlick, T. (1974). The athletic dropout–A high price of inefficiency. CAHPER Journal, Nov.-Dec., 21-27.

  • Pooley, J. (1981). Dropouts from sports: A case study of boys’ age-group soccer. Paper presented at American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Convention, Boston, Massachusetts.



Sapp, M., & Haubenstricker, J. (1978). Motivation for joining and reasons for not continuing in youth sports programs in Michigan. Paper presented at American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (AAHPER) Convention, Kansas City, Missouri.

  • Sapp, M., & Haubenstricker, J. (1978). Motivation for joining and reasons for not continuing in youth sports programs in Michigan. Paper presented at American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (AAHPER) Convention, Kansas City, Missouri.

  • Teenagers’ motivations for sports participation help predict lifelong habits. (1990). North Palm Beach, FL: Athletic Footware Association.



Wankel, L. M., & Kreisel, P. (1985). Factors underlying enjoyment of youth sports: Sport and age group comparisons. Journal of Sport Psychology, 7, 51-64.

  • Wankel, L. M., & Kreisel, P. (1985). Factors underlying enjoyment of youth sports: Sport and age group comparisons. Journal of Sport Psychology, 7, 51-64.




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