Crisis and the churn at the pool

Some people say that there is a crisis in youth sports participation. To be sure, the levels of this crisis — or not — depend upon many factors including location, coaching, other opportunities, support from the society and culture, school district and more.

Chart of national retention percentages by years for swimmers in USA Swimming programs.

Click image for larger view. Source: USA Swimming. Chart of national retention percentages by years for swimmers in USA Swimming programs.

Overall retention has stayed pretty constant around 70%. USA Swimming had its second best year ever in 2017 with 74.2%. Basically means that 7 out of 10 athletes stay with the sport from one year to the next.

The 12-Under retention levels within USA Swimming hovers around 60%. Again 6-out-of-10 12-Unders athletes stay with the sport. Colleagues in other sports say they’d love to have that retention rate for younger kids.

​And most of you already know that if a 13-Over-Swimmer is with your team, they are more than likely to stay with your team,  since the retention hovers around 90%.

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