Why children participate in youth sport (12 and under) Children have different reasons for participating in sport than adults (have fun, improve skills, get exercise, be with and make new friends, compete) Boys and girls have similar motives for involvement but these may vary in importance. For every 10 children who begin a sport season, 3 to 4 quit before the. Most of the motives children have are intrinsic (e. g. , to have fun, learn skills) Winning clearly is neither the only nor the most common motive for participation. Most young athletes have multiple reasons for participation, not one single motive. Although most children withdraw because of change of interests, a significant minority discontinue for negative reasons (e. g. , lack of fun, pressure) Underlying the descriptive motive (e. g. , fun) is the child"s need to feel worthy. Affiliation motive: major motive that children have for sport participation. Friends and the peer group are important motivators.