Although the physical and psychological benefits of youth participating in sport are evident, the increasing professionalization and specialization of youth sport, primarily by coaches and parents, are changing the culture of youth sport and causing it to erode the ideal mantra: “It’s all about the kids.”
In Best Practice for Youth Sport, readers will gain an appreciation of an array of issues regarding youth sport. This research-based text is presented in a practical manner, with examples from current events that foster readers’ interest and class discussion. The content is based on the principle of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP), which can be defined as engaging in decisions, behaviors, and policies that meet the physical, psychological, and social needs of children and youth based on their ages and maturational levels. This groundbreaking resource covers a breadth of topics, including bone development, burnout, gender and racial stereotypes, injuries, motor behavior, and parental pressures.
Written by Robin S. Vealey and Melissa A. Chase, the 16 chapters of Best Practice for Youth Sport are divided into four parts. Part I, Youth Sport Basics, provides readers with the fundamental knowledge and background related to the history, evolution, and organization of youth sport. Part II, Maturation and Readiness for Youth Sport Participants, is the core of understanding how and why youth sport is different from adult sport. This part details why it is important to know when youth are ready to learn and compete. Part III, Intensity of Participation in Youth Sport, examines the appropriateness of physical and psychological intensity at various developmental stages and the potential ramifications of overtraining, overspecialization, overstress, and overuse. The text concludes with part IV, Social Considerations in Youth Sport, which examines how youth sport coaches and parents can help create a supportive social environment so that children can maximize the enjoyment and benefits from youth sport.
In addition to 14 appendixes, activities, glossaries, study questions, and other resources that appear in Best Practice for Youth Sport, the textbook is enhanced with instructor ancillaries: a test package, image bank, and instructor guide that features a syllabus, additional study questions and learning activities, tips on teaching difficult concepts, and additional readings and resources. These specialized resources ensure that instructors will be ready for each class session with engaging materials. Ancillaries are free to course adopters and available atwww.HumanKinetics.com/BestPracticeForYouthSport.
Best Practice for Youth Sport provides readers with knowledge of sport science concerning youth sport and engages them through the use of anecdotes, activities, case studies, and practical strategies. Armed with the knowledge from this text, students, coaches, parents, administrators, and others will be able to become active agents of social change in structuring and enhancing youth sport programs to meet the unique developmental needs of children, making the programs athlete centered rather than adult centered so that they truly are all about the kids.
Part I. Youth Sport Basics
Chapter 1. Overview of Youth Sport
Types of Youth Sport
Patterns of Participation in Youth Sport
Barriers to Youth Sport Participation
Organizations That Support Youth Sport
Chapter 2. Evolution of Youth Sport
When and Why Was Sport Introduced Into Schools as an Extracurricular Activity?
How Did Nonschool Youth Sport Become So Popular?
What Does Title IX State, Why Was It Necessary, and How Did It Change Youth Sport?
How Did Little League Baseball Become So Popular?
Why Do Grassroots Youth Sport Programs Lack National Organization and Support?
How Have Changes in Parenting Philosophy and Practice Influenced the Evolution of Youth Sport, Particularly the Decline of Free Play?
Chapter 3. Philosophy and Objectives of Youth Sport
The POPP Sequence: From Philosophy to Action
What Should the Objectives of Youth Sport Be?
Tension Points in Youth Sport Philosophies and Objectives
Consequences of Developmentally Inappropriate Philosophies and Objectives
Palm Community Model of Youth Sport
Examples of Youth Sport Philosophies and POPP Sequences
Part II. Maturation and Readiness for Youth Sport Participation
Chapter 4. Physical Growth and Maturation
Physical Growth and Maturational Influences on Sport Opportunities and Performance
Chapter 5. Readiness for Learning Skills and Competing
What Is Readiness?
The “Mountain” of Motor Skill Development
Sensitive Periods in Motor Skill Development
Is Earlier Better?
When Should Kids Start Organized Youth Sports?
Chapter 6. Motivation and Psychosocial Development
Why Do Children Participate in Youth Sport?
Wrap Up: Provide Kids a Motivational FEAST
Chapter 7. Modifying Sport for Youth
Why Should Sport Be Modified for Youth?
Why Do Adults Resist Youth Sport Modification?
What Changes Should Be Made?
Chapter 8. Teaching Skills to Youth Athletes
The Five-Step Teaching Cycle
Instructional Strategies to Maximize Learning
Part III. Intensity of Participation in Youth Sport
Chapter 9. Physical Training and Young Athletes
Positive Effects of Physical Activity and Training in Kids
Negative Effects of Over-Intensity in Physical Training in Youth
Physical Training Guidelines for Young Athletes
Chapter 10. Talent Development in Sport
Talent Development Basics
How Is Talent Identified, and When Do We Decide Who Is Talented?
The Relative Influences of Practice and Innate Qualities on Sport Expertise
What’s the Best Way to Develop Sport Talent?
Specialization in Youth Sport
Categorizing Sports Based on Specialization Demands
Tips for Nurturing Talent and Well-Being in Youth Athletes
Chapter 11. Stress and Burnout in Youth Sport
Stress as a Process
Demands (Stressors) Faced by Youth Athletes
Young Athletes’ Assessment of Demand(s)
Young Athletes’ Responses to Stress
Outcomes From the Stress Process
Flow: The Ultimate Goal for Youth Sport Participants
Burnout in Youth Sport
Chapter 12. Injuries in Youth Sport
Youth Sport Injury Basics
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Female Athletes
Concussion in Youth Sport
Legal Duties and the Emergency Action Plan
Part IV. Social Considerations in Youth Sport
Chapter 13. Cultural Competence in Youth Sport
Continuum of Cultural Competence
Gender and Youth Sport
Reasons for Gender Differences in Youth Sport
Race and Ethnicity in Youth Sport
Sexual Orientation and Youth Sport
Disability and Youth Sport
Sexual Abuse in Youth Sport
Chapter 14. Coaches and Youth Sport
Coaching Education and Certification
Recruiting Youth Sport Coaches
Evaluating Youth Sport Coaches
Building the Youth Sport Coaches’ Skill Set
Youth Sport Coaches’ Meta-Skill: Communication
Chapter 15. Parents and Youth Sport
Foundations of the Parent-Child Relationship
Three Roles of Youth Sport Parents
WANTED: Positive Parent Behaviors in Youth Sport
Understanding Parent Traps
Parent Education in Youth Sport
Strategies for Coaches in Interacting with Youth Sport Parents
Suggestions to be a Better Youth Sport Parent
Chapter 16. Moral and Life Skills Development in Youth Sport
Understanding Terms Related to Moral Behavior in Sport
How Sportsmanship and Moral Behavior Are Learned
Enhancing Sportsmanship, Moral Development, and Life Skills in Youth Athletes
Appendix A: The 100-Points Exercise
Appendix B: Sample Issues to Consider When Developing Your Principles
Appendix C: Case Studies on Growth and Maturation
Appendix D: Sample Letter to Parents Explaining Readiness Evaluation Session
Appendix E: Why I Play Sports Survey
Appendix F: Motivational Climate Scale for Youth Sports
Appendix G: Motivation Case Studies
Appendix H: Talent Development Environment Questionnaire for Sport (selected items only)
Appendix I: Newspaper Article on Mandated Equal Playing Time for Middle School Athletes
Appendix J: Sport Anxiety Scale-2 to Measure Trait Anxiety in Youth Athletes
Appendix K: Focusing on Your Controllables
Appendix L: Emergency Action Plan
Appendix M: Coaching Appraisal Form
Appendix N: Athlete Evaluation of Coach
Robin S. Vealey, PhD, is a professor in the department of
kinesiology and health at Miami University in Ohio, where she has worked for
more than 30 years. She has dedicated nearly her entire adult life to youth
sports, whether as a coach, administrator, educator, researcher, or consultant.
She is internationally known for her research on the psychological aspects of
youth sport and coaching effectiveness. Vealey, who has authored three books,
has won several professional awards throughout her academic career, including
being named a fellow by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)
and the National Academy of Kinesiology. She previously was president of AASP,
is a certified consultant in sport psychology as recognized by AASP, and is
on the U.S. Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry. In addition to serving
on numerous journal editorial review boards, Vealey is a past editor of The
In 2011, Vealey was named to the Marshall University Athletic Hall of Fame after a stellar playing career in women’s basketball. Vealey went on to serve as a collegiate volleyball and women’s basketball coach and an athletics administrator. She currently enjoys playing golf and continues to remain active in various sports as a sport psychology consultant for youth athletes and teams.
Melissa A. Chase, PhD, is a professor in the department of kinesiology and health at Miami University in Ohio, where she has worked for two decades. She specializes in research about coaching efficacy and self-efficacy in children interested in increasing motivation and effectiveness, and she has presented her research across the United States and internationally. She was named a fellow by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and SHAPE America and is a certified consultant in sport psychology as recognized by AASP. Chase was the founding editor of the Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, which is an official AASP publication.
Before becoming a professor, Chase gained experience as a physical education teacher at both the elementary and secondary school levels while coaching various levels of basketball, cross country, track and field, and volleyball for several years. She enjoys running and watching her teenage children participate in youth sports.