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Rick Davis On Fun In Youth Sports

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Rick Davis, a PCA National Advisory Board Member, is a retired professional soccer player and former member of the U.S. National Team. He played with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, and was named Player of the Year in 1979. Davis was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2001 and served as Executive Director of AYSO.

Davis talks about two reasons why the most important element in youth sports is fun, and how this is the driver for success in sports. First, as kids develop athletically and have the chance to improve their skills, fun will motivate them to spend more time developing. The more fun they are having, the more a youth athlete will practice, which leads to skill maturation and plays a role in character development.

The second reason Davis mentions fun as a driver for success in a sport is because it is paramount in a child’s desire to continue playing. A kid who isn’t having fun will quit, a sentiment proven through research from the Women’s Sports Foundation about why most kids are quitting sports. Having fun is central to youth athletes' desires to continue playing their sports.