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When Kids Want to Quit a Sport

Why Do Kids Quit Sports?

Kids have many reasons for wanting to quit a sport. It may be that some of the excitement of starting a sport wears off when the hard work begins. There can be other reasons too, such as:

  • being too tired from too much on the schedule
  • a problem with a teammate or coach
  • not liking the sport

How Should I Handle It?

Talk to your child in a calm way and find out why he or she wants to quit. First, try to find a solution:

  • If your child feels too tired, you may need to cut back on the sport or take something else off the schedule.
  • If there's an issue with a teammate or coach, this is a good time to teach your child how to work through a problem. Talk about ways that your child could make things better. Maybe talking to the other player or going to the coach would help. If your child is very young, you may need to go together to talk to the coach. Keep your child involved in trying to make things better, though. This helps kids learn to address a problem and take steps to make it better.
  • If your child is being bullied, either by the coach or a teammate, work with your child to make sure it doesn't continue. If your child is very young, talk to the parent of the child doing the bullying or the coach on your own. If your child is older, talk about ways to deal with a bully.
  • If your child just doesn't like the sport, it can be tough. If you signed up for a season, encourage your child to finish the season.

If Your Child Still Wants to Quit

You know your child best, so consider the reason he or she wants to quit when making your decision. Think about whether you pushed your child into a sport that you wanted him or her to play. Then, decide what to do as a family. Learning how to make good decisions is an important life lesson.

If your child does quit the sport, find another sport or activity that he or she can try. All kids should get at least 60 minutes a day of physical activity to stay fit and healthy.

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date Reviewed: 01-03-2019

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