Soccer Participation is Declining
by CSC Club Technical Director Marcelo Gangotena
Soccer is experiencing a significant decline in participation. Of those who participate at an early age, 70% will drop out by the age of 13. The main reason cited by kids: "It's not fun anymore".
A new research study by Human Kinetics titled "The Fun Integratio
n Theory: Toward Sustaining Children and Adolescents Sport Participation", surveyed 142 youth soccer players, 37 coach
es and 57 parents to identify all the things that make playing sports fun for players.
They sorted ideas and rated each idea in order of importance, frequency, and
feasibility. The result: "
THE FUN MAPS" identified the 4 fundamental tenants of fun in youth sports within 11
comprised of 81 specific
The FUN MAPS thus pr
ovide detailed evidence for the Fun Integration Theory. To see the white paper:
The research revealed that the three highest rated dimensions of fun are
: "Being a good sport", "Trying harder" and "Positive coaching". These dimensions represent three fundamental tenants- social, internal, and external respectively. The fourth tenant, practices and games, represent contextual fundamentals- when working in unison with the other three define the l
evel of fun a player experiences.
We want to highlight the dimension of fun that we as a soccer club can influence the most: "Positive coaching". The Positive Coaching dimension is comprised of the following determinants (in order of importance):
- Treating players with respect;
- Encouraging the team;
- Giving clear, consistent communication ;
- Have a lot of knowledge about the game;
- Allow mistakes, while staying positive;
- Listening to players, considering players opinion;
- Being easy to talk to;
- Being nice and friendly
- Giving compliments;
- Participating with players during practice;
- Joking around.
The Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) is one of the le
ading states in coaching education. VYSA recently introduced a new course called F.U.N: Facilitate an age appropriate learning environment for young players; Understand the physical, psychological and technical aspects that allow a young player to progress; Nurture and instill a love for the game in all players in your charge.
The Chantilly Soccer Club highly recommends that all new coaches attend this course. Coaches will learn more about "Positive Coaching" and their role as a coach. For more information about VYSA Coaching Education: