By: i9 Sports

Ask almost any kid playing sports and they will tell you the reason they play is because it’s FUN.

This is no secret, but somehow adults hear this so much, that we are beginning to overlook it. We know kids want to have fun, but what we forget is that what is fun for them may be different than what you think. I recently asked a 10U flag-football coach why his kids continue to play for him and why it’s fun for them. His answer was that the kids were getting better, which lead to more wins in the season. When I asked his players why they continued to play for him the answer was much different:

“I’m friends with my teammates and we like playing together.”

“We have fun during practice and games.”

“The coach lets me play, even though I am younger than the rest of the kids.”

Without even realizing it the coach was having success with his kids, not because of their development or win-loss record, but because he let the kids have fun, didn’t add pressure and allowed them all to play and learn. When I told the Coach the response he was a little surprised, and his answer was perfect: “I guess I gave you my reasons why I have fun and continue to coach, but not theirs!”

This is the same mistake that many of our parents and coaches make time and time again. So today I want to set the record straight. In a study by George Washington University it found that what kids found most fun about sports were the following:

  1. Trying Your Best
  2. Getting treated with respect by Coach
  3. Getting playing time
  4. Playing well as a team
  5. Getting along with teammates

Winning was #48 on this same list!

Youth sports has the power to transform lives in an almost unmatched way. And if we can take a step back and allow the kids to learn, connect and play our kids will be grateful.

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