'Too much, too soon': Most kids quit organized sports by age 13
EUGENE, Ore. - Basketball is the game for JJ Anderson.
"I just like basketball. It's my passion," the 10-year-old said Wednesday. "I want to go to college over at Duke and hopefully make it to the NBA."
Youth sports camps help kids like JJ dream big, even as national statistics estimate 70 percent of kids quit organized sports by the time they turn 13.
"I think that a lot of kids are leaving the sport because we are just doing too much too soon," said Bev Smith, executive director of KidSports. "They're being coached like they are mini athletes. They are then going to leave the sport because they get mentally burned out, they get hurt."
The camp JJ attended has been going for 6 years. They've seen youth come back year after year with goals of continuing sports into their teens.
The YMCA camp JJ attended Wednesday at Northwest Christian University has seen kids come back year after year with goals of continuing sports into their teens.
Luke Jackson, a former Duck and NBA player now coaching NCU's basketball team, said it can be a challenge to keep youth motivated.
"It seems these days there are so many distractions," Jackson said.
The key may be family and parents.
"If kids are raised to be active and raised to be healthy, then they are going to choose to go play that sport," said Holly Criz Anderson, youth development director at the YMCA.