Promoting Positive Youth Development and Life Skills in Youth Sport

August 29, 2019 by  
Filed under Provincial and Territorial News

Promoting Positive Youth Development and Life Skills in Youth Sport: Challenges and Opportunities amidst Increased Professionalization

Martin Camiré has worked closely with School Sport Canada researching how our coaches assist their athletes with their life skill development. Here is his new position paper where he shares his thoughts with us on life skills and increased professionalization in youth sport.

Article · August 2019 with 31 ReadsCite this publication

Abstract: Positive youth development represents a strength-based approach to development in which life skills are recognized as desired assets that prepare youth to function as productive members of society. In many countries around the world, there is increased attention paid to the teaching of life skills through sport, but researchers have cautioned against the dangers of blindly evangelizing the virtues of sport participation. The purpose of this paper is to offer a brief commentary on the challenges and opportunities that exist in promoting positive youth development and life skills amidst the increased professionalization of youth sport. In the first part of the paper, a case is made for tempering our expectations about sport’s intrinsic developmental value and instead focus on being intentional in exposing youth to life skills messaging and experiential learning opportunities. In the second part of the paper, coach education and the professionalization of youth sport are examined as contemporary challenges in relation to the dilemmas they create and the opportunities they present.

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