How 70% of Children Lose Interest in Sports by the Age of 13

By Jaiden Montero and JJ Lin

“It’s just not fun anymore.”

According to a poll from the National Alliance for Youth Sports, 70% of children quit playing sports at the age of 13. Here’s why they are taking the early retirement.

The most common reason why 70% of 13-year-olds quit playing sports at that age is because they don’t make their school’s sports teams. This leads them to think they are not good enough and to keep playing sports is not worth it anymore. This becomes an issue as they get closer to high school. HPCMS student, Sade Bell, 8th grader, explains why she quit basketball. “I didn’t like it anymore, so I stopped playing,” but she also says she might go back to playing basketball.

Sometimes, kids think, “I have to be the best or I’ve failed,” according to the Washington Post. If 13-year-olds think this and they don’t make the team, they think they’ve failed. Afterwards, they might quit. Olivia Ballentine, 7th grader, shared that she quit karate. “I was really bad at it, and everyone else was good.” This way of thinking can also lead to people being unathletic later on in their lives. Not making the team can also lead to anxiety and depression, according to the Washington Post. This isn’t just a sports problem, it’s a cultural problem. Just this one small problem has led more than 70% of kids 13 and older to stop playing sports.

It just might be the specific age. At 13, kids are faced with more (and maybe more challenging) school work. This can cause them to focus more on school work more than sports. Maybe the schools they attend just don't have sports for them to practice it.

Another reason why kids might quit sports is because of injuries, as the following interview depicts. Sixth grader Destiny Dimitrova shared that she quit basketball. She said, “I quit because I broke my pinky and I couldn’t play for three months so I decided basketball was not meant for me.” If kids get injuries that cause them to stop playing for a while, they just might simply not play anymore; to avoid more injuries.

In conclusion, 70% of kids quit sports at the age of 13 because of injuries, school teams, being too self conscious, and maybe just the specific age. It’s really hard being a teenager, especially while having the pressure of sports. All in all, we can all say that being under pressure, quitting sports is a common thing. But this is why growth mindset is so important!