Presentation on theme: "Investigating reasons for sport drop-out amongst girls"— Presentation transcript:
1Investigating reasons for sport drop-out amongst girls 31 March, 2017Sustaining participation in teenage girlsChris Lillistone, Insight and Innovation, WSFF and Carrie Myers, Girlguiding UKInvestigating reasons for sport drop-out amongst girls1
2Contents Introductions Teenage drop off – the problem The dry bit: research background and methodWhy do girls drop out?Drop out mythsIts not all bad – what young women love about sportSo what do we do to keep them in?How do other organisations deal with drop out? Case study: Girlguiding UKDiscussion
3Teenage drop off – the problem 31 March, 2017Teenage drop off – the problemProportion of young people who take part in recommended levels of physical activity, by gender and ageIn all sports, almost half as many 16 – 24 year old women take part in sport as men of the same age
431 March, 2017Many sports notice a significant drop out or withdrawal from their sport among female participants in their teenage years% of girls who take part in sport at least once a month by ageActive People Survey 4 ( )
5The research and method 31 March, 2017The research and method
631 March, 2017THE PROBLEM: 9 National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs), have identified retention as a target and want to gain a deeper insight around drivers and barriers to participation as well as sport-specific motivations.OBJECTIVE: identify key reasons (practical, psycho-social and individual sport specific) for young women dropping out of sport, and identify further interventions to shape a new futureWHO: WSFF commissioned the Futures Company to carry out the bespoke researchGymnasticsHOW: Paired interviews and focus groups with year-old current participants and non participants from each of the 8 participating sports (badminton, tennis, basketball, hockey, football, rugby union, rugby league, netball)
8As they grow up, teenage girls have to contend with a number of personal and lifestyle challenges. Peer pressure to be socially acceptedRelationships/ boyfriendsLess direct parental involvement and supportIncreased body consciousnessMore pressure to do well at school11 yrs old12 yrs old13 yrs old14 yrs old15 yrs old16 yrs old17 yrs old18 yrs old19 yrs old3 points to mention:Interests changeGirls from a less wealthy background/ lower SEG feel more pressure to get a job and earn their keepStandard for girls to drop sport study and boys don’tUnderstanding the pressures and demands of being a teenager is critical to understanding the role of sport in their lives.
9Sporting reasons Lifestyle reasons Personal reasons 31 March, 2017Sporting reasonsLack of playersToo competitiveNo future potential/ career opportunitiesLifestyle reasonsFall out with other playersFriendsUnfriendly team/clubRelationships/ boyfriendsJump to senior leaguePersonal reasonsEmbarrassingWork/ jobUnfitSeasonalLazyTransport/ convenienceNo role models /lack of publicityMoneyNot very good at the sportSchool workNo school links with clubsParental supportLack of match playOther sport/ hobby commitmentsLack of coachesCoach personalityTired of playing against same teamsRisk of getting hurtTime for something new9
108 key reasons Sporting reasons Lifestyle reasons Personal reasons 31 March, 2017BAD COACHES/ SPORTS TEACHERSBIG JUMP FROM JUNIOR TO SENIOR LEAGUESSporting reasonsLifestyle reasonsLACK OF SUPPORT FROM SCHOOLSCOMMITMENTS/ PRESSURES CONFLICTSPersonal reasonsCOMPETING SOCIAL PRESSURESLACK OF PLAYERSTIME FOR SOMETHING NEWThese reasons correspondingly fall into personal, lifestyle and sporting areas, although they are often interlinked.NOT ENOUGH OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY IN MATCHES10
11Playing a sport from a young age can get boring after so many years TIME FOR SOMETHING NEWDedication and commitment to a sport can, after while, become something of a burdenREASONIMPACTPlaying a sport from a young age can get boring after so many yearsGirls who have played a particular sport for a long time can reach a point where they become tired and bored and yearn for something new – either another sport or a non-sport interest.Playing sport at a high level requires a lot of commitment and dedicationHaving to commit and dedicate a lot of time to play at a high level can become too much for some girls. They can become resentful of the sport and leave to regain some freedom.“There is too much training at a high level and if you started young you may get bored by a certain age – that happened with me with rowing”.Hockey lapsed“People can get bored of playing and stop. I swam loads when I was younger but when I was 16 I started going less – it can take its toll and I wanted to take up the opportunity to try dancing or rowing”.Sometimes girls just want to try something new – it bears no reflection on the sport experience itself.
12VOX POP (1) Played for so long I’m now bored of it
13COMPETING SOCIAL PRESSURES New interests in socialising and increased focus on studies mean that sport may have to take a back seatREASONIMPACTIncreasing independence/freedomGirls start to discover new interests (socialising, shopping, going out) and as a result drop other past-times including sport.Greater emphasis on education and academic successFrom the age of 15 girls start focussing more on studying, and feel under pressure to do well in exams (GCSEs and A-levels). As such, more time is spent studying leaving less time to spend on hobbies/interests.“When everyone gets to 15-16yrs that’s when you start drinking and going out and developing a social life – it takes over and becomes a priority”.“Boys and girls are different in what they want to do in their spare time – girls have different priorities and interests –it’s [sport] just not what you do I guess”.“People get boyfriends and would rather spend time with them”.“School work and exams get in the way of playing”.“You have to work – your parents can't support you forever!”This is a difficult issue to address but sports need to be understanding of competing pressures and help girls find ways to fit sport into their lives.
14LACK OF SUPPORT FROM SCHOOLS A school’s commitment and encouragement of sports is critical in maintaining participationREASONIMPACTSchools and clubs largely operate independently – they lack links and schools fail to encourage and promote clubs to studentsStudents who enjoy playing sport at school are largely unaware of club opportunities.Players get limited exposure to larger competitions/other teams.Senior schools often prioritise and focus on only a certain few (often traditional girls’) sportsFor the remaining sports, the coaching and match opportunities are limited or non-existent. Students are often left to organise play themselves – this can easily fall apart.Schools are committed to the academic success of their students and are also protective of their sporting talentSchools can be discouraging of students playing sport outside of school as it conflicts with study time and can also cause a conflict of loyalties between school and club sports.Absence of interest in B teamsB teams are given less opportunity to train and compete, leaving girls in B teams feeling neglected and de-motivated.Schools/ colleges provide fewer opportunities for 6th formers (16-18yrs) to play sportA lack of organised sports for 6th formers (no coaches/training/matches) means that they may discontinue playing sports.
15LACK OF SUPPORT FROM SCHOOLS What girls have to say...“I had a big problem with an RS teacher at school. She didn't like me playing for a hockey club. If I didn't do my homework she would tell me I was playing too much sport”.“Sometimes schools won’t connect you with a local club – they want you on their tennis team”.“Schools should do more to encourage the game and link you to clubs”.“Our school didn't coach us netball so we had to form our own team and got a 6th former to come and help out – I would have liked more support from the school”.“Our school wasn't really into netball – we had an A team but they didn't want a B team so we created it ourselves”.Schools need to provide opportunities to play throughout senior school and sixth form across a range of sports.
16Time pressures may compromise dedication to sport CONFLICTS WITH OTHER COMMITMENTS/ PRESSURESTime pressures may compromise dedication to sportREASONIMPACTOther interests (another sport, job or other) require fixed, regular commitmentScheduling of interests can clash – two things happen to be on the same day at the same time – and one gets dropped.High level sports require a lot of commitment and it can become hard to juggle other sports as well. As a result, sports tend to get dropped so the girls can focus on just one.“I was on a hockey and netball team but I gave up as did a foundation in art which takes up time”.“When you’re 16 you want a Saturday job but matches are always on Saturdays”.“I was on the first team (hockey), but I prefer dancing, dancing is what I do. It will help with my career- it’s about priorities”.“I played for a team (Badminton) but it conflicted with rugby training so I had to stop. My friends were in rugby”.Whilst a sport can’t be designed to fit around every girl’s schedule, permanent drop out could be reduced by making it easier for girls to come back to a sport once their conflicting interests have ended.
17VOX POP (2) I had to chose between two sports and prioritise
18The coach’s role is vital in the quality of the sport experience BAD COACHES/ SPORTS TEACHERSThe coach’s role is vital in the quality of the sport experienceREASONIMPACTSome coaches are unenthusiasticCoaches play a crucial role in enthusing players. Without their enthusiasm and commitment, players can lose interest and leave.Some coaches have favourites(often the really good players)Unfair decisions and preferences can mean that girls miss out on match play. This leaves players feeling undervalued and de-motivated.An overly aggressive, critical or serious coaching approach is very off-putting to girlsGirls need to feel supported and understood, as well as be allowed to have fun, otherwise their enjoyment of the experience can be ruined.Enthusiastic, supportive, committed and fun coaches are key to maintaining teenage girls’ interest in and commitment to the sport. Having a female coach is much less important.
19BAD COACHES/ SPORTS TEACHERS What girls have to say...“Some of my badminton coaches took it too light-heartedly – they didn't care whereas in rugby the coaches weren't like that and with them I wanted to try harder and impress my coaches more”.“I had a bad football manager – he was never around – he was too quiet and didn’t encourage us. He also had favourites”.“A coach makes it for you – if they’re not enthusiastic then you’re not. If you get picked on it makes it a horrible experience for you”.“The teachers not being enthusiastic is a big thing. PE teachers love their teams but are not very nice to the people who aren't in the teams. They have too much pride in talent”.“Some coaches shout a lot at you and some people don't like that and take it personally – it can put them off”.“Jackie (football coach) was good – she was relaxed about things and if you did something wrong, instead of shouting at you, she would just mention it and tell you how to do it better next time”.
20With others leaving, girls that stay can lose out LACK OF PLAYERSWith others leaving, girls that stay can lose outREASONIMPACTOther girls in the team/club leave due to other commitments and social pressuresThe girls that remain in the sport end up being affected by the girls who leave as they are left with too few players to form a team or no-one to play with.“I stopped netball because not many girls my age were playing and at school there weren't enough people to carry it on”.“When I got to 6th form there weren't enough people to make teams and the standard is too high outside of school so I stopped”.“your friends prefer to go shopping and if you are the only one who wants to kick a ball around it’s not cool!”Maintaining numbers of players is important in keeping hold of those who do want to play. Clubs need to have a bigger player base to allow for some drop out.
21VOX POP (3) No-one my age to play with at the club
22FROM JUNIOR TO SENIOR LEAGUES BIG JUMPFROM JUNIOR TO SENIOR LEAGUESThe transition from junior to senior leagues is a sudden and significant leapREASONIMPACTSenior players are more experienced/ better playersGirls are concerned that they won’t be as good, they might struggle to keep up and lack confidence playing against senior ladies.Senior players are at a different life-stageSenior ladies can be aged from late twenties to fifties and have different interests to teenagers. A lack of common interests makes it harder to socialise and bond (especially in team sports).Senior players are bigger and strongerFor some sports (typically the more physical/ contact sports) girls are concerned that they will have to play against much stronger players, which could increase the risk of injury.Senior players have a different attitude towards the sportThere is a feeling that women either take sport too seriously or too light-heartedly and in either case these girls view the sport differently.
23BIG JUMPFROM JUNIOR TO SENIOR LEAGUESWhat girls have to say...“It’s a massive jump to women’s – 15 to 18 was a big enough jump!”Rugby union“For netball once you go from under 17s you go into ladies leagues and go in to a league with 50 year olds and it not fun – they don't care about the sport so much”.Netball“Old fogies at the club can’t keep up with you. It’s not fun playing with older people – the club I joined were struggling for players my age”.Tennis“Some football clubs have an under 18 team but many jump from under 16 to all ages. It can be rough when you are 16 having to play with 30 year olds”.Football“Our age (18/19) is really difficult as you’re too old to play with people your age and the old people are either doing it just for fun or are seriously good. Its hard to play with people the same standard at our age”.Badminton“I was 17 and everyone else was above the age of 25 – I didn't like it. We did all the running - they would say “young legs you can do it”, you get more injuries. Playing people much older and bigger is scary”.NetballEasing and smoothing the transition will help increase girls’ confidence and encourage them to stay in senior league.
24Playing in matches is fundamental to a good experience of sport NOT ENOUGH OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY IN MATCHESPlaying in matches is fundamental to a good experience of sportREASONIMPACTOnly the best players get opportunities to play matches and competeIf you’re not one of the better in a squad, you don’t get selected to play as much as others – this can be disheartening and boring. Girls want to play matches.Competitions/tournaments don’t cater for less serious or less good playersSome girls play for the enjoyment rather than serious competition. They still want to work towards something: to be able to compete and get properly involved in the game is vitally important.There aren’t enough opportunities to go on tourGoing on tour is highly motivating: it offers adventure, stories, friendships and bonding. Plus, playing on the same circuit against the same teams all the time can be come boring.Whatever the level, girls want more opportunities to compete and play in matches against different teams.
25NOT ENOUGH OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY IN MATCHES What girls have to say...“If you’re not good, if you don’t get on the team then you’re just going to quit. If you’re on thirds, then you’ve got no incentive”.Hockey lapsed“If the 2nd team always played when the 1st team played then less people would quit – this is the main reason why my friends have quit sport”.Netball current“If you're not on the A team you don't get to play many games so you don't get the fun part. What’s the point if you're not going to play any matches?”Netball lapsed“It’s really important to play a game – its what you wait for and where you learn the most – you can get bored watching on the side line”.Rugby union
27Some hypotheses of reasons for drop out were disproved in the research 31 March, 2017Some hypotheses of reasons for drop out were disproved in the researchMYTH:REALITY:Training sessions were too rigidRegular sessions appeal – ensuring dedication and good turnoutNo female coachesFemale coaches not critical – attitude is more importantThe game is too formalThe ‘real’ game is liked – ‘don't mess with it’Too much focus on competing vs. fitnessPlaying matches is ‘what it’s all about’No opportunity to play with boysGirls like playing with girls – boys can be overly competitive and too roughWhen you first join it’s tricky, but that’s the same with every sport. After a few matches it’s fine.Rules are complicated and hard to followOnly at the start – you get used to them fastFacilities were poorDo not stop girls playing even if poor27
28More publicity could help to address these misconceptions. Some sports are perceived to have a negative image for girls. However, this is not a big enough reason to stop playingGirls are aware of the stereotypical images some sports have – particularly the traditional male sports - rugby, football (and hockey).Whilst it is not a reason in itself to put someone off playing it can be hard on girls to experience name calling.“I have experience of being called gay... you can brush it off but some people have got low self confidence and if it gets drilled into you enough then it’s not nice”.Current rugby league“People think of butch lesbian hockey players but if you watch England or Germany play you can see they are all gorgeous and they’re doctors and stuff”.Current hockey“People always ask me how many lesbians are in my team but it doesn't bother me”.Current rugby unionNB: Tennis is particularly successful in promoting a positive image of female players – they are perceived to be glamorous and attractive as well as athletic.More publicity could help to address these misconceptions.
29what young women love about sport Its not all bad –what young women love about sport31 March, 201729
30Girls who don’t drop out of sport tell us they feel a powerful sense of belonging My passionMy releaseWe’re in it togetherI don’t know what else I’d doMy club is like my familyI’ve grown up playingMy identityBecomes part of their DNASafety and EscapeFriends & SocialisingChallenges & AchievementsEnjoymentFitness & OpportunitiesTeam spirit and support
31What can we do to keep them in? 31 March, 201731
32Personal reasonsLifestyle reasonsSporting reasonsBAD COACHES/ SPORTS TEACHERSCONFLICTS WITH OTHER COMMITMENTS/ PRESSURESBIG JUMP FROM JUNIOR TO SENIOR LEAGUESTIME FOR SOMETHING NEWCOMPETING SOCIAL PRESSURESNOT ENOUGH OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY IN MATCHESLACK OF PLAYERSLACK OF SUPPORT FROM SCHOOLSThere is potential for sporting bodies to address a number of reasons concerning the sport infrastructure and experience to prevent drop outPersonal and lifestyle reasons are perhaps harder to tackle directly, however could be addressed indirectly – as a secondary outcome of interventions
33Schools and clubs working better together Schools and clubs can improve their relationship:Schools could help sign post students to nearby clubs, ideally with named contactsClub coaches could visit schools and hold sessions to promote their clubsClubs or schools could hold workshops with professional playersSchools could share facilities with clubs and vice versaSchools can provide more opportunities for match play across abilities to maintain interest and motivation of players:PE teachers and coaches could arrange more tournaments and tours, mixing school and club playersA and B teams could train more and play matches together so that B (and C) team players have more opportunities to playNetball –Back to Netball model adjusted to ensure offers enough playing competitivelyLACK OF SUPPORT FROM SCHOOLSNOT ENOUGH OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY IN MATCHESBAD COACHES/ SPORTS TEACHERS
34Introduce under 18s or under 20s league to provide a smaller jump to senior league Team up clubs with local university teams to allow junior players to play with older players who are not necessarily as experienced or as serious/ competitive as senior leaguesBIG JUMP FROM JUNIOR TO SENIOR LEAGUESLACK OF PLAYERSGet clubs talking to and working with each other – if one is short of players then it could collaborate with another to get enough players to maintain a teamOffer more matches and competitions across all levels (not just A teams)Make tournaments accessible for different levels so everyone can take part. This give girls exposure to playing against better players and helps players improve their gameNOT ENOUGH OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY IN MATCHESRugby Union/ League – backed up evidence that competition structures needed reviewing, especially leap from junior to adultTennis – supporting clubs to create a ‘cluster’ – inter ‘places to play’ competition format focused on teenage girlsInitiatives based on these ideas could help maintain participation across sports
35VOX POP (4) An example of a club that eases the transition of junior to senior
36BAD COACHES/ SPORTS TEACHERS Dealing with coaches and seasonalityEnsure that coaches strike the right balance of fun and seriousness in their training techniquesMake coaches (particularly male coaches) aware and understanding of how to adapt their coaching methods for girlsEXAMPLE - The FA is working with coaches using WSFF ‘Coaching Women’ resources to better understandBAD COACHES/ SPORTS TEACHERSFor seasonal sports, offer opportunities for players to train and compete over summer months to help them maintain fitness and prepare them better for the next season (and in some cases help get them in shape for pre-season trials)Initiatives based on these ideas could help maintain participation across sports
37Provide other reasons to stay Opportunities to get involved in other ways such as refereeing or coaching may offer additional personal benefits e.g. good for UCAS form/ CV, a way of earning some money.“it makes you feel really proud when younger ones you have taught improve – you can pass your skills down to them”“Coaching and refereeing are other things people our age can put on CVs which is a good thing”“it means that even if you are not serious about the sport you can be part of things which is good”These ideas, which build on the benefits, could help sport to successfully compete against other commitments and social pressures
38Tours and competitions More opportunity to take part in national competitions and tours give girls something to work towards and offer a sense of achievement“If you said to someone you played in a national competition people would think wow that’s really good”These ideas, which build on the benefits, could help sport to successfully compete against other commitments and social pressures
39Building social aspect of sport Clubs could better facilitate social events for their players:Hold BBQs, social outings (cinema, meal), social night at the bar where players can hang out (can be non-alcoholic)Events for family and friends to get involved:Encourage players to invite friends/ family to watch them play in training/ matches – this helps encourage support, it can reassure family with regards to risk of injury and can increase performance levels and motivationHold social events where players can invite friends and families e.g. BBQs, award ceremonies, annual ball/ partyHold sport events for friends and family to take part – adds a sense of fun and allows everyone to join in and experience the sportCombining socialising with sport can create a bridge between the activity and other family/ social interests
40Fundraising to overcome financial issues and increase opportunities for tours/competitions Finding creative ways to cover costs gives a real sense of team spirit. It also gets family, friends and the community involved – increasing the exposure of both the team and the sportGirls at Stockport Basketball club have a great attitude to working together and helping the team stay afloat.When they host matches they have to provide food for the other team. They assign every team member an item to make and bring along.They raise money for their club fund. This year they packed bags at Morrisons. They also organise cake sales. All the money goes to the club fund for trophies, mini bus, referees and team trips.The girls also keep in contact via Facebook to pass on the latest news and chat about the game.
41How do other organisations deal with teenage drop out? Case study: Girlguiding UK31 March, 2017