TO EXPLORE THE REASONS INTO THE HIGH DROP OUT RATE OF YOUNG MALE GYMNASTS AND EXPLORE THE REASONS WHY THEY RETURN TO THE SPORT AS YOUNG ADULTS
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Sports withdrawal has proven to be a multidimensional issue within the sporting world. From previous research the reasons that people have chosen to drop out include, a lack of enjoyment, dislike of the coach, lack of progression, conflicting interest and injury. Within sporting literature there is a lack of research surrounding specific sports and associated reasons of drop out. Within the sport of gymnastics there is a large gender imbalance with 77.4% female and 22.5% of participants being male. The average drop out age from the sport is 9.6. The aim of this research is to find out why male gymnasts are drop out at a young age, what sports they changed to and why they have chosen to return to the sport at as a young adult. The research consisted of six in depth interviews from Cardiff Metropolitan University Men’s Gymnastics team. The results of the research showed that at a young age the participants initially participated due to encouragement from influential figures. They then dropped out due to similar reasons stated in other research such as, a lack of enjoyment, lack of progression and dislike of the coach. All participants went onto participate in a variety of sports and returned to gymnastics at university. The reasons for starting gymnastics at university differed from that as a child, whereby fun, social and health related reasons were stated rather than encouragement form influential figures. Other findings that have limited research surrounding it is the negative stereotyping associated with gymnastics, and how the relaxed atmosphere of no coach in training encouraged people to join gymnastics as young adults.
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