‘Fun’ is the main reason for participation in organized sport. The number one reason youth quit sport is because it’s no longer fun.
What makes sport ‘fun’? Amanda J. Visek, PhD, studies fun in youth sport. Dr. Visek and her team identified 81 factors that made sports ‘fun’ to kids.
The results were surprising. As it turns out, what adults think is fun for the kids is different than what kids actually think is fun.
‘Winning’ ranked 48th on the list of fun factors, which meant there were 47 other things kids thought were more fun than winning! Playing in tournaments ranked 63rd, and getting medals ranked 67th.
So what ranked at the top of the kids list?
The 6 most important characteristics of fun included:
- Trying your best
- When the coach treats players with respect
- Getting playing time
- Playing well together as a team
- Getting along with teammates
- Being active
What does this mean for youth sport in a COVID world? It means the kids will be happy just to play and learn, even if they can’t travel and compete they way we are used to. No matter what sport looks like this fall, let’s all work together to make sport FUN!