Over 45 million youth
play organized sports annually
Combining physical activity, play, and collaboration, sports are a meaningful way to foster youth development and build key social and emotional skills like teamwork, empathy, and problem solving. These skills help kids thrive: on the field, in the classroom, and in life.
But these outcomes are not guaranteed.
Each year, fewer kids play sports. When many team environments place more emphasis on winning than on having fun, that’s unsurprising.
It doesn’t have to be this way. A good coach can play a transformational role in a child’s experience.
The key? High-quality training in youth development techniques.
It’s time for big, bold action from across the youth sports sector. 70% of coaches surveyed are requesting more training in youth development skills and research suggests that coach training in PYD and SEL strategies can improve young athletes’ motivation, satisfaction, and continued participation. However, coach participation in training beyond safety protocols such as CPR is limited.
The Million Coaches Challenge partners are going to change this, one coach at a time.
Why does coach training matter? Because it supports our young athletes to thrive on the field and off the field.
Coaches that reported participating in training in areas of youth development reported making a significantly greater impact on helping their athletes become role models in their communities (91%) as compared to those with no training (77%). Interestingly, coaches who ranked teaching life skills as one of their top coaching philosophies also reported higher win percentages over the course of their careers compared to coaches that did not share this value.
Sources and Relevant Research: