What keeps them kicking the ball? : Young female footballers’ reasons to not to quit
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Youth sport participation decreases as the age. Research indicates there is a larger decrease noted in females compared to males, particularly in football. The number of youth female players participating in football decreases by half between ages 12 and 14. This study is designed to evaluate different changes in youth life, both physical and mental as well as the influence of significant others, and how these factors might affect the motivation of young female football players to participate in youth football. The reasons why adolescence dropout has been a focus of many studies. In this study the reason why they do not drop out are studied. This study will focus on what keeps youth to continue with sport also during puberty and what are the meanings of internal and external influencers to one’s sport participation. The main objective of this study is to identify the key factors, which motivate young female players to continue to participate within their sport compared to those who choose to dropout. Both internal and external motivators are studied. Results of this study may be used to provide athletes, coaches, parents, and teammates with tools to counter act the major factors, which hinder female participation to ideally encourage further participation within the sport of football. The research data was collected with online questionnaires in fall 2016. The participants in this study were female footballers in the Tampere Area of Football Association of Finland between ages 13-15 and currently have the Finnish playing pass (pelipassi). Altogether 94 players took part in this study. There are 626 players in the area, who fit the requirements of the study, hence the answer rate was 15%. SPSS statistics was used to analyze collected data. The results show that there are many different steps that can be taken to motivate young female footballers, with no significant differences noted based on age. Key findings include athletes need more support from significant others during adolescence as well as athletes identify a lack of knowledge within themselves and their significant others in relation to issues they experience during adolescence. Players and their significant others need to understand that it is normal during adolescence to feel tired and overwhelmed. Players also need to understand the importance of being able to discuss their feelings and doubts with their coach or parents. ...
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