Are you Losing the Fun in Sports?
This is a common thought many young athletes have when contemplating if they want to continue in competitive sports due to no longer having fun.
Unfortunately, according to a study conducted by the National Alliance of Youth Sports, approximately, 70 percent of young athletes quit their sport by the age of 13.
Why do young athletes quit competing in sports at an early age?
There are 4 main reasons that cause young athletes to quit participating in youth sports.
- Too much time – Young athletes often complain that competitive sports require too much of their time. Practices are long… Too many competitions… Too much traveling… Not enough free time… and little time for hanging out with friends. When you feel your sport has taken on a life of its own, it can make training sessions and practices feel like absolute drudgery.
- Too much pressure – The pressure to produce is overwhelming for many young athletes. Many of these athletes feel they need to please their coaches, parents and teammates. The fear of letting down others can cause young athletes to try to set unrealistically high expectations or feel they need to be perfect in all they do as an athlete. The weight some young athletes feel is often a load too heavy to bear.
- Too many nagging injuries – Missing a lot of time due to injuries and watching your teammates improve and achieve can feel frustrating. Rehabbing from injury, experiencing the pain from being injured and having to recondition after injury can generate a host of negative emotions.
- Not enough fun – This, ultimately, is the main reason young athletes want to quit competing. When the fun is gone, athletes are left feeling “burned out.” Something you once enjoyed feels like such a chore that zaps motivation and any passion you once had for your sport.
A recent example of walking away from sport while in his prime is former NFL quarterback Andrew Luck… Luck was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts with the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Luck shockingly retired at the young age of 29 years-old despite being one of the top quarterbacks in the game.
Luck achieved a lot in his seven year career including: four Pro Bowls and the 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Unfortunately, Luck experienced a lot of adversity throughout his career, too.
Luck had shoulder surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2017 season and, most recently, ankle and calf injuries.
These injuries wore Luck down both physically and mentally and were the impetus for Luck’s retirement from football.
LUCK: “It’s been unrelenting. I felt stuck in it. The only way I see out is to no longer play football. It’s taken my joy of this game away.”
If your sport is fun, you can endure a lot more adversity while staying motivated to improve.
‘I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live,’ he said, referring to both the pain of his injuries and the degree of dedication required to recover from them. ‘It’s taken the joy out of this game.’
He had been the NFL’s No. 1 overall pick, then its leader in passing touchdowns, then its comeback player of the year.
Keeping Sports Fun:
First of all, deciding it is time to move on from a sport is not failure. A time comes when every athlete makes the decision to move on.
If you still have a passion to compete, write out a list of what you like about your sport, why you started, and what’s fun about competition.
Remind yourself to make having fun a goal. Let go of the expectations to be great.
Perfectionists both love and hate their sport at times. When they fail to live up to expectations, they become frustrated and lose the fun.
Is your goal to have fun and the love of competition stronger than the adversity and pain your feel at times?
Improve Mental Preparation in Sports!
If you’re an athlete who is frequently tight, tense, anxious, or wants to learn more about how to relax better under pressure, The Relaxed Athlete is for you!
Confidence and the ability to relax under adversity is what championship athletes do best.
It only takes one tense moment for you to lose a critical point, miss a putt, or lose a second off your lap time. You cannot afford to let distractions run wild in your mind and cause you to make errors at critical times in the game!
The Relaxed Athlete is a complete system to teach you how to relax like a champion and harness the power of relaxation every time you step on the playing field, court, track or course in practice and games!
This workbook and CD program consists of 2 audio CDs that include 14 days of focus boosting exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through each of the 14 days, helps you apply strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal focus challenges.
- How to quickly identify distractions that sabotage your concentration and how to quickly refocus after distractions.
- How to use pre-shot routines before shots or serves to help you be more task-focused instead of worrying about results.
- How to use pregame routines to help you harness the power of zone concentration before competition.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying about our mental game programs?
“As a result of reading and implementing ‘The Confident Athlete Series,’ I am once again enjoying golf and letting bad shots roll off my shoulders and appreciating my good shots without attaching expectations. Thanks Dr. Cohn!”
~Stu Blasius, P.G.A. Golf Professional
“Your response to the throwing problem in front of the coach covers so many situations in life…that is the beauty of playing sports…the life learning experiences. Keep up the good work…you are the best mental coach.”
~Bill Brennan, sports parent