Essay On Sports Participation

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Sports participation provides lifelong benefits for young people such as improving fitness, learning teamwork and developing character. Yet despite these benefits, millions of children dropout or withdraw from sports each year. In fact, Petlichkoff (1996) estimated the annual dropout rate at 35% with many children withdrawing from sports in early adolescent (cited in Fraser-Thomas & Deakin, 2008). Further, Telama, Yang, Hirvensalo, and Raitakari (2006) state when early withdrawal happens, children will less likely engage in physical activity later in life. Because of the high dropout rate and associated implications, researchers have devoted numerous studies investigating the factors that may cause children to withdraw from sports. For example, Martens (2012) identified the following reasons why a child will discontinue participation: (a) they no longer enjoy playing the sport, (b) they lose interest in the sport, (c) they are not learning new skills, and (d) they do not play enough. However, such descriptive factors do not identify underlying causes behind the decision to discontinue participation.
Youth sports literature has consistently identified motivation as an underlying cause that determines whether a child will continue participation. In this regard, Harter’s competence motivation
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With all the variables considered simultaneously, no pattern emerged based on age. In fact, regardless of age (8-14 years), the subjects either accurately or overestimated their perceived competence while relying on various information feedback sources. Harter (1998, 1999) stated various factors help form perceived competence such as experience, task difficulty, interaction and feedback with others, and intrinsic motivation (as cited in Robinson,

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