Why High School Athletes Quit Playing Sports #Fun

Why High School Athletes Quit Playing Sports #Fun


Andrew Luck officially retired at the age of 30 on Saturday night. Drafted as the overall #1 pick in 2012 by the Indianapolis Colts, he was a can’t miss Hall of Famer. Yet, Luck will not make the Hall of Fame. He had a injury-plagued career and he just decided that it wasn’t worth it anymore. The following are his words:

“This is not an easy decision. Honestly, it’s the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me. For the last four years, I’ve been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab, injury, pain, rehab, and it’s been unceasing, unrelenting, both in-season and off-season, and I felt stuck in it. The only way I see out is to no longer play football. I’ve been stuck in this process. I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live. It’s taken the joy out of the game.”

Joe’s Perspective: People are criticizing Luck for quitting, but his reason for quitting (no joy) is not very different from teenagers (no fun) who play sports. According to a recent study, the #1 reason that kids quit sports is, “It’s no longer fun.” In fact, this study found that the #1 reason kids play sports is because “it’s fun.” The researchers went on to rank-order the 81 reasons that kids play sports. Winning came in 48, playing tournaments was 63 and practicing with private trainers was 66. The other top 4 reasons that kids quit playing sports is:

2. They have lost ownership of the experience (coaches and parents constantly trying to change micro-manage every decision for them)
3. They don’t get playing time (90% of athletes would rather play on a losing team than sit the bench on a winning team)
4. They are afraid to make mistakes (constant second-guessing leads to fear)
5. They feel disrespected by coaches (yelling, insults or being pushed too hard)

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  1. The number reason why I play sports is because I am passionate about getting better and I believe that sports help an individual become a better person. Sports teach you responsibility, mental toughness, and had to push through tough times. Sports have been my stress reliever throughout my entire life and have made me happy.

    1. I play high school sports because it’s fun and it is a good way to let off steam and forget about my other frustrations in life. I find it relieving, even when I get mad at myself!

    2. The number 1 reason why I play sports is because it’s fun. It is fun being on a team and getting to know each other. It is fun playing the sport and learning how to play better. It is just fun!

  2. I play high school sports because it is fun and I get to see my friends. I also love the sport itself and it keeps me in shape.

  3. I play locally and I play it because it’s a lot of fun and I enjoy it. I have a great time playing with my friends and winning.

  4. I play high school sports because Volleyball has tended to keep me busy which means I stay out of trouble. I also have been playing for so many years because I have the chance to get a scholarship and play in college either with a scholarship or at least with the years of playing even without a scholarship. I play volleyball because even though yes, the game is fun and shows me how hard I tend to work hard out of school but for me I don’t think it’s worth getting hurt multiple times and never being able to step back on the court.

  5. I play because I love the game(Football) and have been playing it my whole life, it also creates opportunities, shows you discipline, and also shows you the fruit of your labor.

  6. The number one reason that I chose to swim all throughout high school is the competitive spirit and the ability to do that with the people I enjoy hanging out with. High school sports are way different than anything else you do outside of school, like a club team, where the pressure is off of us and that pure joy of the sport is left there.

  7. Rodney

    I play high school sports for the brotherhood type bond with my boys my teammates, I play for the feeling you get under the Friday Night Lights I play for the gut wrenching feeling when the football is kicked through the air and I play for the blood, sweat, and tears me and my brothers go through together.

  8. The players now that they have to prove themselves to start in a football game. If they didn’t want to prove themselves then they wouldn’t have pursued that path. Andrew Luck knew the consequences of playing and taking on the tackles by those pro football players. This was a great decision by Andrew Luck, because he knows his body more than everyone in the NFL staff.

  9. Andrew luck is retiring not because he wants to quit, because he is a top 10 qb in the league. He is quitting because of the constant injuries he faces which takes the fun out of the game. Thats why he is retiring at a young age.

  10. I play sports because i like being active and being on teams with my good friends. Also it makes my family proud of me.

  11. My #1 reason is that I have a passion for the sports that I am in and I enjoy it. I like being a part of a team and a team leader. Sports also teach many life skills that I think are beneficial

  12. I play high school sports because it gets you to have communication skills. You also gain friendships and are pushed to do what you love.

  13. I play sports to help achieve a healthy lifestyle. I like playing sports that I can play for the rest of my life because it helps encourage the healthy lifestyle.

  14. I play high school sports because it pushes me to my limits and teaches me lessons about life. I chose these sports because I enjoy playing them and learning these lessons from them.

  15. I play high school sports as a way to stay active, keep my mind off all my worries outside of that sport, and spend time with my friends

  16. I participate in tennis and cheer because it builds character and physical and mental strength. I am able to form strong bonds with my teammates and be a leader on the field and court.

  17. If you are ever going to play a sport, high school is the easiest time to do it. You have some free time, and you’re young, which makes sports easier.

  18. I play for the love of the game and I love winning and the closeness of the team at Bronson. The bond of the team makes playing the game 10x more fun and winning even more fun too.

  19. I play sports because it makes me not only a better athlete but a better person, I love all the sports I play and I love making memories with all my friends.

  20. I’ve always just really enjoyed the game and even though i sit a lot I like to be on a team that works so hard and i’m just glad to be apart of that. I still try to get better and better everyday just like everyone else on the team so that one day i can get playing time.

  21. I play sports because I enjoy learning how to work as a team and I love to grow as a person and a player. I also enjoy playing becaue my team mates make it fun and so do my coaches.

  22. I play sports because it creates strong bonds and friendships with new people. They also provide many life lessons aside from the sport itself.

  23. I think football creates a family bond between the student athletes which allows them to have a higher sense of togetherness

  24. I thought it was a good interview because he talked about how athletes are quitting because of injuries and it took his love out of the game.

  25. I play high school sports because I love the competition. There is nothing better than knowing that your hard work pays off.

  26. I play high school sports because I love the team bonding and getting to have fun while playing the sport you love. I also love knowing that the whole team will have my back during anything.

  27. I play high school sports because I love being able to play what I love and not getting told I need to do something I don’t want to do. I also love making new friendships with the players and coaches.

  28. I play high school sport to stay in shape, be with my friends, I’m extremely competitive, and it’s so much fun being apart of a team and doing something you all love

  29. I believe Luck made a decision that he felt was right and one that he truly believed was best for him. When it comes down to it in life or sports those are the type of decisions one should stand by.

  30. i think andrew did what is best for him. He always worked hard and made great unbreakable friendships and he had amazing skills

  31. The number one reason that I play sports is to have fun with the boys. It may be hard work at times, but when you’re with the boys it’s still fun.

  32. They push us hard to make us a better player in whatever sport it is. We need this in order to continue to work hard in our sport

  33. I play volleyball for abbey and my teammates. I fully play for my friends because when I play on the court with them I enjoy playing. This relates to what we talked about in practice because I feel like sports can sometimes no longer be fun. I need to work on keeping it fun so that I enjoy it.

  34. The reason why I play is because of the passion I have towards my sport. Also it helps me make me be a better me with my coach’s help.

  35. You can talk to anyone anytime over the internet, but it does not have the impact of talking in person. In sports you need to talk to your teammates and you need to work togather. This is why I love sports it takes a group of kids and has them work togather build eachother for a larger purpose.

  36. The reason why I play high school sports so i’m not sitting at home everyday doing nothing and you build bonds with different people.

  37. The #1 reason that I play a high school sport is because I have a lot of fun when I play with my team. Also, I love the family type atmosphere that the team brings to practice and games. It makes me feel welcome because I know that my teammates have my back.

  38. I joined because I wanted some good ol’ competition to spice things up, make new friends, and to stay active. I wanted to join something at my school and none of the clubs really interested me, but the sports did. It gave way to another aspect of high school I enjoy every day

  39. I play sports because when ever I am either taking the floor or playing a game or match I immediately get a huge smile on my face whether I win or lose I have so much fun being around people who love to do the same thing you do.

  40. Andrew luck had a great career, but i think it’s important that if you aren’t getting anything out of a sport, there’s no point in playing anymore

  41. I play high school sports because it keeps me fit and in shape and I have fun with my friends and team mates even if we lose.

  42. The number one reason I do sports is to stay in shape and to have some type of discipline on myself to keep me under control

  43. The reason I play high school sports is because I get to stay active as well as giving me more responsibilities. Student athletes are responsible for taking care of their school work and their sports work.

  44. I play high school sports because they are fun, you get to meet new people, and spend time with your friends doing something you enjoy.

  45. I play high school sports to make new friends, stay in shape, spend time with my friends, and to work on time managing skills.

  46. Some reasons I like to play sports in high school is that they are fun, exciting, they help me stay in shape, and to be around positive people.

  47. The number 1 reason i play is to stay active and build connections and experiences with the team. Its fun being a part of something.

  48. I play a high school sport because it is a good outlet to get away from everything going on in your school/home life. I believe it makes you a more rounded person and teaches you great life lessons.

    1. I play volleyball because it helps you in real life due to making quick decisions remembering something with enough practice & getting something right for something you have been working on for ever. You feel accomplished & feel great about yourself which can make you motivate & push yourself.

  49. I play high school sports because of how competitive it is. Another reason why is because I really like playing soccer.

  50. The reason I play sports is because I enjoy meeting people who have the same interests as me. It has helped me make lots of friends and I enjoy staying active. Sports are a good way to keep active and also have fun at the same time.

  51. The reason I play sports is because I think it’s fun and it’s a fun way to stay active instead of doing workouts all the time.

  52. Having coaches micromanage you does take a lot of the fun out of sports and can add a lot of unwanted pressure to the situation.

  53. I play high school sports because of the relationships that I can make with my teammates and because it is fun and you get excessive at the same time.

  54. The reason I play sports is to have fun learning a new skill and to keep active during the season. I also play sports to meet new people and have fun with friends.

  55. The reason I play a sport is because I love the adrenaline rush that I get. I love the people I play with. There joy makes my day and I love to see my teammates happy and I love to see them smile.

  56. I play Highschool sports because I love the thrill of feeling everything fit together, like when everyone on the team plays their part of we get a really well earned point because of it.

  57. The number one reason I play high school sports is because volleyball makes me forget everything else that’s happening in my life. I love the thrill of volleyball and the adrenaline rush makes it fun. I love being a part of a team and seeing all my teammates happy.

  58. I play sports as a way to take my mind off of other things in my life. I love working with a team to achieve a goal and when you work hard for something then get it, that feels really good. I also love seeing my teammates happy when they get a kill or a dig or save a ball that someone shanked.

  59. The number one reason I play high school sports is because it is a fun way to connect with other people who enjoy volleyball as much as I do. It is also something to be passionate about outside of school, and it helps me find that balance between academics, social things, and sports.

  60. I play high school sports because it helps me become a better person in the community and helps me think about others more then my self. I also feel like I am blessed to have the opportunity to play high school sports because most people my age my not be able to have the same opportunity then me.

  61. I play volleyball because I love being a part of the volleyball family, mentoring the underclassman, seeing hard work pay off, and the feeling after giving a match or practice 100% effort. The challenging times are doable because of the support from my teammates. I enjoy the challenge of learning or improving my skills because I can see growth even though it wasn’t perfect. Being a positive influence that I didn’t have until I came to prep means a lot to me.

  62. I sympathize with the fact that kids quit sports because they are no longer having fun, but that separates those who only play to have fun and those who play to have fun, but also are willing to work hard and better themselves.

  63. I play sports because I love the bond that you get overtime with your team when you go through wins and loses with them over the season.

  64. The number one reason why i play sports in high school is because I loved the program and dance has been a huge hobby for me ever since i was a kid.

  65. The number one reason I play high school sports is because I enjoy it and it is a good way to get away from the stress of life. I enjoy sports because it pushes me to be my best self which is important.

  66. I think that teens are often quitting sports cuz of way to much pressure. When u out to much pressure on your younger child and/or teen it can take the fun out of the sport! I think all parents need to try to always be positive and suggest how to fix stuff in their child’s sport, but I think that they just have to be a little nicer about it at time because overall, we are just kids trying to have fun!

  67. i play high school sports because i like how it instantly makes you a better person at school. its something that motivates me to do better in classes and overall just be a good person. i stay out of trouble because i dont want to get pulled from and performance or miss any practices because its what i love to do.

  68. i play high school sports because i like how it instantly makes you a better person at school. its something that motivates me to do better in classes and overall just be a good person. i stay out of trouble because i dont want to get pulled from and performance or miss any practices because its what i love to do.

  69. I play high school sports because I feel happier knowing that I belong to something. I didn’t play any sports in middle school and I felt really lost and I didn’t know who I was. As soon as I joined a sport, I instantly felt better.

  70. I play high school sports because it is fun for me and I really love playing volleyball and the friendships that I have made through it. It also has taught me a lot of lessons that I would not have learned or experienced otherwise. (Hard work, discipline, importance of teamwork, communication skills, the importance of doing all of the little things).

  71. Sports should be fun before anything else. This is especially true for school sports where studying should be the main priority. If stress is excessively felt around sports, they shouldn’t be played.

  72. I believe sports help each individual develop key skills like communication, perseverance and hard work. Also how to take criticism and work hard. These skills are critical for the workplace.

  73. I play sports because it’s a way to keep me active and it’s a fun way to spend time with your friends and build new relationships with your team.

  74. The number one reason I play sports is because I love to compete. I love all competition and have a lot of fun when competing during sports.

  75. I play sports because I always have I, I just have an athletic spirt in my body even days I want to quit I don’t I keep pushing because that’s what you have to do sometimes. Sports teach me life lessons, build my character, and metal/physical toughness. Sports have such a fun social part to them not only do you get close with friends your age but you interact with upperclassman too.

  76. The main reason that I play sports, is to have something to take my mind off of everything else. I also love the adrenaline rush you get when getting a kill or saving a ball that someone shanks. Another reason I play sports is to build my work ethic and to build life skills.

  77. If you aren’t enjoying the sport, why play it? I have fun with all my sports by challenging myself, by making friends, and by getting better each and every day. Sometimes sports are painful and a struggle, but even then they are fun all the way through; journey and destination.

  78. The reason I play sports is because I’m in love with the adrenaline. Big games, high intensity drills, games, etc are the most fun things. When you are able to get better and you can feel yourself getting better, your confidence rises and those adrenaline moments become even more fun.

  79. High school athletes quit because of injuries that affect their loves outside of football. They also quit because of football consuming time that they could be using for their social life and their education.

  80. I play high school sports because I enjoy playing the sports, I enjoy the bonds that I have made with other teammates, and the life lessons I have learned from the coaches.

  81. I don’t just have one reason as to why I joined dance. I joined it because it is something I am passionate about. It also keeps me going and in shape. It keeps me busy and focused on something other than my phone. It also helps me manage my time.

  82. Sports are fun and when a coach pushes you it is meant to be benificial but sometimes they push too hard where they become insults and it starts to make players second guess how they are playing and why

  83. I play sports because they help me grow and develop as a person. They teach me how to work as one unit and that communication is key. These lessons can help me later on life as well.

  84. I love to play sports because I love being active and it gives me something to do that takes my mind off of things that stress me out, such as school

  85. I play sports because I enjoy the game. But if I was no longer having fun, why should I play? You should play a sport because you love the game not because you feel forced or because you think you need to. Typically if you aren’t having fun than you make the game less fun for the people around you.

  86. I play sports in high school because of all my teammates and friends. I also love to work hard and have something to do all the time.

  87. I play high school sports because I love to play volleyball. It gives me a feeling of motivation and a reason to get up in the morning. Volleyball helps me get through the school day and has led me to many more friendships then I ever thought I would have.

  88. I play sports because it allows me to have fun and hangout with my friends while also being competitive and energetic against other schools.

  89. I play for my teammates if it were up to me I wouldn’t have played this season but since I committed it before and they expect it from me I play

  90. I play sports because I enjoy the competition and time with my friends. Winning with your teammates after the hard work that has been put in creates a feeling like no other.

  91. Playing sports has taught me many life lessons, but the most important one it’s taught me is how to get back up. Instead of putting my head between my legs and cowering, it’s taught me to keep my head up and keep moving forward. That’s my i play sports.

  92. I play high school sports because it gives me a way to Express myself just like music or acting would to someone else. I feel comfortable and at home when under the pressure to perform and succeed makes me work

  93. I quit a lot of sports when I was younger out of fear, but I’m glad now that I am facing up to that fear by playing again… I encourage anyone who shares a similar fear to also stand up and go for it!

  94. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to your peers or fans and tell them that you’re done or quitting at something. Andrew luck is one of the best at his job and for him to quit because he doesn’t enjoy it anymore is totally respectable.

  95. I play sports because they are lots of fun and I get to connect with people I never have but I think if the sport wasn’t fun I’d keep playing bc it can’t not be fun forever

  96. I do high school sports because it is a great way to meet new people and stay in shape. I also find it fun to be part of a team, have team dinners, cheer each other on at meets and more.

  97. I play football because 1. I love the fact that you can hit someone every play of a game and never get penalized for it and 2. Scoring touchdowns never gets old. I also run track so that I can be faster on the football field.

  98. Being in sports teaches healthy life lessons and it’s a good way of life. You can also create strong relationships with other players and coaches.

  99. The main reason I play high school sports is because it is fun, there are 2 other sports I used to play (baseball and lacrosse). I stopped playing them because I was not having fun.

  100. I think his decision was smart because he missed a lot of games because of injurys and he’s not the only one to end his career short, I believe I was Barry Sanders who also did because he knew his life was more important then football.

  101. I like to play sports because I enjoy the competing against other people and seeing how they can challenge me in being better.

  102. I agree and I would probably quit if my coaches weren’t so understanding that I’m there for fun not winning and that other things come before sports.

  103. i play sports because i love and enjoy the sports i play. if i didn’t love the game i would probably would quit because i wouldn’t try my best and i wouldn’t enjoy it.

  104. The number one reason I play sports is because it is very enjoyable to me. I also like how it helps me stay in shape and allows me to spend time with friends I don’t see much during the school day.

  105. I play volleyball because it’s really fun and I’m always happy playing volleyball. I play basketball because it’s not only my favorite sport but it my dream to get drafted to the nba and have an successful career.

  106. I love playing tennis and really enjoy hanging out with the girls I have met through it. I quit basketball after middle school because of my knee problems but I would have liked to play that too.

  107. I play high school sports because they are fun and competitive. I love playing with people that go to my school plus I love the games and practices every day.

  108. I play spots in high school because I love the competition, I love meeting new people and being a part of something good. Also, it keeps me in shape

  109. I play a high school sport because even though I may not be the best I have stuck with it since before I can remember and it is what I love to do.

  110. I think the reason high school athletes decide to quit is because of the fact that they are sometimes scared of messing up or of the coaches as well as they have no interest for it and there parents are making them do it

  111. I play high school sports and cherish every moment of it because I know one day I won’t be able to play anymore. Whether that’s because I graduate high school or if I get the chance to play college I graduate college and can no longer play. I play for my team and because I genuinely love sports and being rewarded for the good things I have done.

  112. I see where he’s coming from, if it’s not fun, don’t do it. He should find something that is fun to him, and makes him actually want to go to work.

  113. i like sports because when i play them i don’t have to think about anything else it’s just the game i am playing at the moment.

  114. I have heard of many students quitting sports due to disrespect from coaches. This is awful because those adults should be wanting kids to stay active and at the end of the day it’s just a game and that much pressure does not need to be put on young people.

  115. i play sports because i get to spend more time with my friends and stay in shape. playing brings a really good team relationship where you really get to know your team and have a tight bond with them

  116. Most athletes don’t start playing the sport that they do for the right reason. Once that motivation dies out they feel no need to carry on.

  117. The #1 reason I played and now coach is for the love of sports. Having fun in a sport is great but it doesn’t beat the love for a sport. Fun without love is temporary as proven by the statistics you mentioned unless when a serious injury is involved because now we are talking about one’s health and well being. For example, a relationship can be fun but if there is no love it gets old…its a temporary. When love is involved one becomes driven and passionate…dedicated for a long term goal. When love ceases so does everything else. I am quick to tell parents NOT to live vicariously through their children. Kids have to love the sport. That’s the only way they’ll get better, the only way they’ll strive for excellence, the only way they’ll keep going, the only way they’ll face adversity in their lives with a strong mind. My players and coaching staff have a pledge…”I love what I do and because of that I accept the 3 Ds – I will be dedicated, disciplined, and determined to to be the best I can be.” After every practice, every game, every event, we sound off with the 3 Ds. I have been coaching for over seven years, I have seen peewees go to middle school, high school, college, to becoming productive adults and professionals. I am blessed to say with over 700 athletes between my husband and I, less than 5% have out right quit and whenever an athlete quit we looked at the bigger picture to make sure we did not fail them as mentors.