For the study, 142 soccer players, 37 coaches, and 57 parents were asked to identify everything that makes playing sports fun for children.
A youth sports study ranks being a good sport in organized sports as the top fun factor for participants. The new study results helped to dispel the common belief that winning is crucial in terms of the “fun” factor.
The latest study results may help researchers develop useful ways to keep children involved in organized sports, a move that can in turn help them maintain a healthy body weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese in 2012.
For the study, 142 soccer players, 37 coaches, and 57 parents were asked to identify everything that makes playing sports fun for children. When the responses were collected, 81 specific determinants of fun were noted. Study participants were then asked to sort these 81 determinants in ways that made sense to them, ultimately ranking the determinants based on importance, feasibility, and frequency.
Amanda J. Visek, PhD, associate professor of exercise science at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University, said in a statement, “When the FUN MAPS are viewed three-dimensionally, the youth sport ethos becomes very apparent. Most remarkably, Being a good sport, Trying hard and Positive coaching came in as the top three most important factors to having fun.” She continued, “At the same time, Swag—such as having a cool uniform or the latest sports gear—was rated as the least important determinants of fun.”