Sports can help kids stay fit, make friends, and develop important qualities like determination and discipline. Unfortunately, 70 percent of young athletes drop out of team sports by age 13, citing lack of fun as their main reason for quitting.
Enter sport psychologists, who are using theory, research and applied strategies to help kids enjoy sports more and stay in them longer. In particular, they're working with coaches and young athletes to foster climates that nurture kids' effort, dedication and team cohesiveness. They're also looking at what exactly "fun" means to kids, and are helping to foster enjoyment in practical ways, such as helping kids set and achieve goals and support their teammates, and helping coaches deploy better communication skills.
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