When I was a high school student I was determined to ask a question that probably doesn't get asked enough.
After more than 10 years of playing youth sports, I wanted to find out what really motivates kids to play. So I decided to ask them a simple question: "Why do you play sports?"
I asked this question in a one-page survey that I gave to football, basketball, baseball and softball players in my hometown over the course of one year. About 1,000 kids in 4th to 8th grade were surveyed.
How does my survey differ from other surveys? I conducted my survey in person, without the involvement of coaches or parents - just a teenager asking kids a simple question. In addition, the players answered the survey anonymously. So I think I got sincere answers.
Check out my presentations of these survey results in the tabs on the left. You will notice a very consistent pattern across ages, genders and sports. See for yourself what reasons are important (and not so important) to these players. I hope that coaches and parents alike will find some interesting insights here to use in your local youth sports programs.