WATCH: Research shows reasons why kids are quitting sport ‘in droves’

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An Auckland study has revealed data showing 50% of kids who play sports quit before they are 11, and 70% give up before their first year in high school.

Dr Craig Harrison.

Auckland University of Technology research fellow Dr Craig Harrison says the study shows a significant factor is the attitude of parents who, he says, need to look for better ways to encourage children.

“Our research basically tells us that we like telling our kids what to do,” Harrison told TV1 Breakfast.

The research identified three archetypal groups of sideline behaviour — parents who offered encouragement, parents who criticised and those who called out instructions.

“What we saw overwhelmingly was instruction — three times the amount of comments that were coming from the sideline were instructing our kids what to do,” he said.

“That’s actually probably the most concerning part of sideline parenting.

“If we want kids to get the true benefits from sport, then we actually have to let them make their own decisions. They have to see what’s in front of them, in the complexity that is in sport, and actually make a decision.

“When we’re always telling them where to be, and when to pass, and when to kick — that actually robs them of the opportunity to learn.”

READ MORE: An open letter to those on the sidelines: ‘Let’s help our kids enjoy their football’ >>>>

Watch Breakfast’s interview with Craig Harrison

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