Envisioning Sport Programs for the Other 75%: Recapturing a Lost Generation

Marlene Dixon

Several catchy television commercials produced by the NCAA tout the thousands of college athletes who will not play professional sport. For the vast majority of college athletes, college participation will be the end of their com­petitive sport years, as meaningful adult sport participation in the US remains limited. The issue, however, starts much earlier. The vast majority of high school athletes will not play college sport, but will end their organized sport participa­tion at age 18 or so. Further, the vast majority of youth sport participants will not play high school sport, or even middle school sport. In fact, statistics continue to show that by the age of 13, somewhere between 60–70% of American youth have dropped out of organized sport, with the biggest drop­out rate belonging to girls. For me, and many others this drastic dropout rate is alarming.

Open Access