10 Recommendations for Youth Sport Participation

by Professor Jean Côté

From http://www.trinityp3.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Nine_Different_Ball_Games.jpg

  • Regulate length of season to 3 to 4 months and a maximum of 6 months

  • Limit lengthy travel to organised competitions

  • Introduce “grassroots” sport programs that focus on trying different sports

  • Do not implement a selection process of more “talented” children until the                specialisation years

  • Provide healthy competitive opportunities, but do not over-emphasise winning          and long-term outcomes such championships

  • Discourage early specialisation in one sport

  • Allow children to play all positions in a given sport

  • Promote deliberate play and spontaneous practice within and beyond organised      sport

  • Design play and practice activities that focus on fun and short-term rewards

  • Understand children’s needs and do not “over coach”

Prof Jean Côté is professor and Director in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada). His research interests are in the areas of sport expertise, children in sport, coaching, and positive youth development. Dr. Côté, in collaboration with Dr. Ronnie Lidor, has recently completed the first comprehensive book on talent development in children’s sport which was published in 2013 by Fitness Information Technology. Prof Côté is also the lead author of the Developmental Model for Sport Participation.


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