When Quitting Sports Is Good For Your Kids

By KBJR News 1

December 14, 2010 Updated Dec 15, 2010 at 12:26 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) In addition to academic pressures, thousands of teens are involved in sports, drama, dance, music lessons.

According to the organization citizenship through sports alliance, 70 percent of kids quit youth sports by the time they are 14.

And when can it really be healthy for kids to quit?

Barbara Reyelts has more in this Connect with Kids Report.

Chandler started playing the game at the age of nine and loved it and then she got to high school where expectations increased, competition intensified and coaches added early morning workouts.

"It started at 6 a.m. They had us hop onto three boxes and then jump up and touch the rim. I was so tired at this point. I was jumping as hard as I could, as high as I could, but I could not get that rim. And I said to myself, I just don't want to be here."

Chandler had a decision to make.

She spent six years of her life learning the game, perfecting her shot, trying to increase her speed.

But chandler was changing and learning to think for herself.

"That night, I came home to my parents, and said, I can't do this anymore. I'm tired, I don't like it, I want to quit. They were worried I was giving up, and they didn't want to instill that value in me."

It's a challenge for lots of parents when do you let kids quit?

But ask a coach about kids who play for their parents, in time, the game becomes a wedge between the parent and the child.

"So maybe the backlash isn't 'I'm going to mess up on the court' but 'I'm not going to talk to you at dinner, I am not going to share with you dreams and ideas.'"

How many kids are playing a sport taking lessons, picking classes to please their parents, and not themselves?

And, in the end, is that why some of them will fail?

"When we do things we don't want to do that are extrinsic, um, that are sort of directed from the outside, we can do them, but they, they tire us out, they burn us out."

The number of kids who are anxious and clinically depressed has tripled in recent years.

Experts say one reason may be the pressure to live a life not their own.

Experts urge parents to make sure kids enjoy their activities and that they're not just playing to please others.

"The biggest thing was that I got my confidence back. My self-esteem was back."